CAIRN
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Knowledge Impact in Society

Student Opportunities
CAIRN provides funding for graduate student through annual calls for proposals. CAIRN Members are invited to submit research proposals each fiscal year. The research proposals are encouraged to have a research component for a Master's or Ph.D. level student. It is often the case that the proposals already have a student identified that could undertake the research should the proposal be accepted.

CAIRN network members are from departments of economics, political studies, agribusiness, agricultural and resource economics, and interdisciplinary studies. This broad range of specialties will allow students interested in innovation to study the issue from a number of scientific perspectives.

A requirement of all funded students is that they author a policy brief highlighting their research.

2011-12 Funded Students

Listed in alphabetical order.

MEHDI ARZANDEH
School: University of Manitoba
Degree: PhD
Supervisor(s): Derek Brewin
Project Title: Firm R&D Investment in Plant Breeding With and Without Farmer-Saved Seed Levies and Complementarities Between Seed Products and the Breeding Process
Funding:
CAIRN funded
Research Overview:
Mehdi’s research will include a discussion of the current and historical research systems for plant breeding in other countries, and the tactics taken to overcome the market failure caused by farmer saved seed and lag times in basic research. Public sector research, regulations and institutions that offer returns to private researchers will be explored, especially as they relate to the growers access to quality cereal seeds. The paper will then attempt to develop a theory of breeding firms with or without public sector competition, base level research and levies on farmer saved seed. This research will look at current international systems that adjust the returns to research like farmer saved seed and end user levies and incorporate them into that model. We will also attempt to explore the ramifications of increased complimentarity between seed production systems and the attributers of the seeds to see if this changes optimal investment levels. The initial data will be from case studies on plant breeding systems to consider possible extensions to Galushko’s model. We will also look at influences of public sector funds on seed creation costs and/or as competition for seed returns. After case studies have been used to set up the problem, oligopoly and competitive firm models will be developed with and without farmer-saved seed levies and complementarities between seed products and the breeding process. Welfare effects will be assessed and used to sort through options.
   
MELISSA LEITHWOOD
School: Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario
Degree: PhD in General Management
Supervisor(s): Oana Branzei and David Sparling
Project Title: Exploring the Cultural Dimensions of how Networks Emerge to Bring Products to Market: The Case of the Ontario Goat Industry
Funding:
CAIRN funded
Research Overview:
Melissa’s research passion over the past year has been focused on social media and culture. She was fortunate to have won a research grant supported by CAIRN to study the role of online social media networks in generating new products and markets in the goat industry (hence, the goat cookbook). Online social media is reaching a groundswell as it pervades our technological landscape, from Twitter, Facebook, to online blogs there appears to be numerous online communities where consumers connect and express themselves, often sharing information about the products they consume. Her interest begins with these online consumption communities and how they emerge and affect consumption patterns in the context of the Ontario goat industry. Her research will help members of the Ontario goat meat industry understand how individual consumer perceptions evolve in this market, especially where online communities, and their conversations, have the potential to affect many producers.
   
MATTHIEU MONDOU
School: University of Toronto
Degree: PhD
Supervisor(s): Grace Skogstad
Project Title: The Regulation of Renewable Fuels
Funding:
CAIRN funded
Research Overview:
Matthieu’s research examines the evolution of regulations for renewable fuels in the USA and Europe that require them to meet environmental and/or social sustainability performance standards, and the consequences of this policy development for renewable fuels’ policies in Canada. Three questions guide the research. First, what has lead to legislated environmental performance requirements for renewable fuels in the United States and the European Union that include, for example, restrictions on producing biofuels on lands with high biodiversity and requiring renewable fuels to meet specified greenhouse gas emission standards? These mandated standards mark a sharp departure from the assumption in earlier American and European renewable fuels’ policies which did not require evidence of net environmental benefits from biofuels. Second, what explains the greater attention globally to the social sustainability of the conditions under which biofuels are produced in developed and developing countries? These social sustainability criteria include the labour conditions under which biofuels are produced as well as the economic impacts on local communities of land use change to biofuels production. Third, what are the implications of these developments for Canada? Unlike American and EU legislation, national legislation to promote renewable fuels in Canada does not require these fuels to meet environmental sustainability criteria. Will performance standards elsewhere put pressure on Canadian and provincial governments to reorient their biofuels policies towards environmental and social sustainability criteria, and, if so, what are the factors that will affect Canadian responses to such pressure?
   
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MOHAMMAD TORSHIZI
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD
Supervisor(s): Richard Gray
Project Title: The Dynamics of Hybrid Seed Pricing: Lessons from the Canola Industry
Funding:
CAIRN for proposal development (Feb 1, 2011 to March 31, 2013)
Research Overview:
The purpose of Mohammad’s dissertation is to explore the dynamics of seed research, seed pricing, and economic impacts in hybrid crops, informed by economic theory and an empirical study of hybrid canola seed industry. The dissertation will explore how the resulting dynamic economic impacts of private hybrid seed industry will be affected by technological assumptions and research policy. Based on the theoretical model an empirical model will be developed to examine Canola hybrid and estimate the model with pricing data from Canada and France. A dynamic partial equilibrium will then be used to simulate the evolution of the industry, to be able to simulate the welfare impacts over time across a range of policy and technology scenarios.

   

ALBERT UGOCHUKWU
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD
Supervisor(s): Jill Hobbs
Project Title: Exploring the Adoption of Traceability and Food Quality Verification Technologies
Funding: CAIRN funded
Research Overview: Albert’s project draws upon the economics of information and signaling literature to examine the role of food industry innovations in delivering credible quality signals, combined with insights from the supply chain economics literature. A conceptual model will be developed exploring the factors affecting traceability and quality verification technology adoption within a multi-level supply chain.

   

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2010-11 Funded Students

Listed in alphabetical order.

   
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BILL BOLAND
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD
Supervisor(s): Peter Phillips
Project Title: Role of Public-Private Partnership (P3s) in Plant Genetic Resource Research and Development
Funding:
CAIRN and SaskCanola funded
Research Overview:

Bill’s academic focus is directed to the role that public-private partnerships (P3s) occupy in the management of research and development (R&D) networks. Specifically, Bill’s research concerns how P3s facilitate innovation, knowledge generation and diffusion, and technology transfer in agricultural and technological innovation systems.

The research output is directed to three articles on P3s. The first article uses social network analysis (SNA) to graphically and statistically demonstrate the critical role that P3s occupy in the management of networked agricultural R&D systems in the global pulse breeding sector. This study demonstrates that P3s are the organizational structure that anchors national systems of agricultural innovation and links these systems into larger regional and global systems of innovation. The second article uses a citation analysis on all peer-reviewed AAFC canola papers published by AAFC from 1997-2007. This study demonstrates that P3s perform the role of an innovation broker in the funding of AAFC canola papers by linking partners of varying institutional design. Specifically, the use of P3s in conjunction with the use of three or more funding partners leads to a statistically significant increase in relative citation rates. The third article develops a comprehensive typology of P3s, ranging from the uncomplicated contract P3 to the sophisticated science and technology research P3.

Bill’s papers have been presented at the following peer-reviewed conferences: Genetically Modified Co-existence Conference in Vancouver October 26-28, 2011; the Triple Helix IX International Conference, Stanford University, July 11 – 13 2011, the Triple Helix VIII International Conference on University, Industry and Government Linkages in Madrid, Spain, October 2010. Bill presented a poster at the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference, Saskatoon in September 2010. In addition, Bill’s research has been incorporated into an AAFC report on agricultural innovation systems.

   
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KATARZYNA BOLEK
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD in Agricultural Economics
Supervisor(s): Richard Gray and Julian Alston
Project Title: Economics of GRDC in Australia and potential application in Canada
Funding: CAIRN funded
Research Overview:Develop the knowledge and begin to model the economic incentives within the Grain Research Development Corporation (GRDC) vertical ownership and IP management structures. Understanding the roles of the producer directed GRDC within this inherently noncompetitive environment and the economic impact of these alternative ownership and control structures can inform producer funded research organizations in Canada and elsewhere. This preliminary exploration will increase the understanding of producer-controlled check-offs, the role they can play in the emerging bioeconomy, and the gaps in knowledge where more research is needed.

Katarzyna has co-authored a policy brief and an AAFC report based on her project.

   
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RIM LASSOUED
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD
Supervisor: Jill Hobbs
Project Title: Co-regulation: Exploring the Interface Between Regulation and Private Standards
FUnding: CAIRN funded
Research Overview: Rim’s project would explore the concept of co-regulation with respect to assuring the safety and quality of innovative food products or those produced with emerging technologies. A comprehensive literature review will form the basis of an examination of the use of coregulation in other countries and in other contexts (e.g. where relevant, lessons from non-food examples of co-regulation will be explored). The challenges in designing an effective coregulatory strategy for food safety and quality in Canada, particularly with respect to emerging technologies, will be examined. An economic framework for evaluating coregulation will examine issues such as the extent to which different co-regulatory approaches are incentive compatible, and the role of public sector agencies and third parties in monitoring compliance with standards. Knowledge gaps will be identified as a component of defining further research needs in this area.

 

   
AMANDA LENHARDT
School: Land and Food Systems Integrated Studies Program, University of British Columbia
Degree: PhD
Supervisor(s): James Vercammen
Project Title: Extension of Honey Bee Pest and Disease Innovations to Canadian Bee Keepers
Research Overview:
Amanda’s study will catalog the practices and costs involved with honeybee pests and diseases, for both beekeepers as well as for pollinator-dependent crop growers. The main goal is to quantify the total cost of the two most important pests, Varroa mites and American Foulbrood, incurred to the beekeeping industry in Canada. The calculation will include an estimation of the costs resulting from colony losses, as well as from prevention and mitigation efforts. By calculating average costs across the industry for prevention and treatment techniques currently available to beekeepers it may be possible to connect particular strategies with their economic outcomes. This will help indicate which methods are more cost effective and will also aim to show where more research into enhanced prevention and treatment innovations would be most appropriate.
   
XIAO ZHIHUA
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD
Supervisor(s): Murray Fulton
Project Title: R&D Decisions by Producer Groups
Research Overview:
Xiao is examining the decision by producer organizations to invest in agricultural R&D. The first major objective of Xiao’s study is to recalculate the internal rate of return (IRR) of R&D at the producer group level by incorporating the horizon problem, risk aversion and the portfolio problem into the rate of return analysis. The second major objective is to consider the way in which farmers view the decision to invest in agricultural R&D and the risk that flows there from. More specifically, the thesis will look at how prospect theory and the theory of mental accounts might affect the agricultural R&D decisions made by farmers.
   

 

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Former Students

Listed in alphabetical order.

ANNA ZUBCHENKO
School: University of British Columbia
Degree: M.Sc. Ag Econ
Supervisor(s): James Vercammen
Project Title: Time Inconsistent Innovation Competitions

 

CAALEN COVEY
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: MSc
Supervisor(s): Richard Gray
Project Title: The Economics of Cooperative Variety

 

LANA AWADA
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD
Supervisor(s): Murray Fulton
Project Title: Economics of Innovation: The Adoption of Conservation Tillage Technology

 

AKHIMIENMHONAN, DOUGLAS
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD
Supervisors: Murray Fulton, David Natcher, James Nolan
Thesis Title: A client-based approach to the perfomance analysis of micro credit programs
View Abstract
CAMPBELL, ZOE
School: University of British Columbia
Degree: MSc
Supervisor: Jim Vercammen and Murray Fulton
Thesis Title: The Effects of Trade Policy on Research and Development Investment Decisions: A Theoretical Analysis of the Canadian Dairy Sector
View Abstract

DAVEY, KELLY
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: MSc (Completed August 2006)
Thesis Title: The Adoption of Minimum Tillage Throughout Western Canada
Supervisor: Hartley Furtan
Kelly is now Manager of Market Research for PotashCorp, Saskatchewan.
Read thesis
ERIC FROYSTAD
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: MSc
Supervisor(s): Richard Gray, Murray Fulton and Jim Vercammen
Project Title: Innovation in Producer Check-offs and Institutional Lock-in

GALUSHKO, VIKTORIYA
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD
Thesis Title: Intellectual Property Rights and Plant Breeding in Canada
Supervisor: Richard Gray
Viktoriya is now an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Regina and a member of CAIRN.
Read abstract
GHAZALIAN, PASCAL
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD (Convocated Spring 2006)
Thesis Title: Gravity Model: Ownership Basis Approach
Supervisor: Hartley Furtan
Pascal is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Lethbridge and a member of CAIRN.

JALILI, ROZITA
School: University of British Columbia
Degree: MSc (Completed March 2008)
Thesis Title: Long Term Contracts and Farm Inflexibility Premium in the Production of Cellulosic Ethanol
Supervisor: Jim Vercammen
Read thesis


KARWANDY, JEREMY
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: MSc (completed September 2008)
Thesis Title: Clusters and the Innovation Strategy of Firms
Jeremy is now the Industry Advisor for Forintek Canada, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Read thesis

LAUGHLAND, PAM
School: University of Guelph
Degree: MSc (Completed 2008)
Supervisors: David Sparling and John Cranfield
Thesis Title: Innovation and Commercialization in the Canadian Bioproducts Industry
View Abstract


MCDONALD, JILL
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: MSc (Completed August 2006)
Thesis Title: Regional Incidence of Innovation in the Western Canadian Food Processing Industry
Supervisor: Jill Hobbs
Jill is now a Research Associate in the Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics, University of Saskatchewan.
Read thesis
OIKONOMOU, EMMANOUIL
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: MSc (Completed January 2008)
Thesis Title: Freedom to Operate and Canola Breeding in Canada
Supervisor: Richard Gray
Read thesis
OMIDVAR, VAHID
School: University of Manitoba
Degree: MSc
Thesis Title: Regional and Individual Human Capital Effects on Innovation
Vahid is now a PhD candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His MSc thesis was published as an article in CAFRI.
Read CAFRI article
PARAVOLIDAKI, CHRYSOULA
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: MSc (Completed January 2008)
Thesis Title: Labelling, Information Asymmetry and Functional Foods: A Case Study of Omega-3 Enriched Eggs
Supervisor: Richard Gray
Read thesis
PARTRIDGE, JAMIE
School: University of Saskatchewan
Degree: PhD (Completed May 2008)
Thesis Title: Essays on Innovation, Immigration and Trade
Jamie is now a Research Specialist with the School of Public Health and the OARDC Ohio Beef Industry Center.
Read dissertation

YOUNG, JAMES
School: University of Manitoba
Degree: MSc (Completed 2008)
Thesis Title: Catching Up? An Exploration of Convergence in Income and Human Capital at the Sub-Provincial Level in Canada
Supervisor: Derek Brewin


ZHANG, LIXIA
School: University of Manitoba
Degree: MSc (Completed August 2008)
Supervisor: Ryan Cardwell
Thesis Title:
The Welfare Effects of Genetic Use Restricting Technologies (GURTs) in Developing Countries
Read Policy Brief
Read thesis

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