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Abstract

This paper illustrates the potential negative effects of increasing the scope of plant breeders' rights (PBR) protection, as has been proposed for Europe by leading plant breeding firms. Such a policy could increase the costs for varietal development for breeding companies, particularly if their access to varieties of the market leader is constrained. This is represented as an asymmetrical increase in breeders' cost functions in a simple model of endogenous quality choice under price competition. Increased scope of IPR protection leads to increased profits for the leading breeding company but decreases in varietal quality and both farm and overall profits.

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