The Economics Research Unit leads and coordinates the research economists in the different Science and Research Branches who carry out world class research in the areas of impact evaluation, econometric modelling and cost-benefit analysis.
- conduct performance benchmarking of projects, programs, enterprises, industries and farming and eco-systems, at international, national, state, catchment, resource and farm levels, providing economic information relevant to decision-making;
- analyse the economic, environmental and social impacts of alternative technologies and resource management strategies for major production systems in the agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries of NSW;
- inform decision making about the department’s and primary industries’ R&D strategic direction and appropriate resource allocation, assisting in identifying priorities for research and extension resources; and
- play a major role in assessing the returns to research and development at the state, national and international level.
Key research achievements
In 2003 economists evaluated the economic, environmental and social impacts of investments in research and extension activities related to:
- wheat breeding;
- water use efficiency;
- net feed efficiency in beef cattle;
- conservation farming in the Northern cropping areas;
- annual weeds (vulpia) in pastures in the temperate zone.
In 2002, the size of investments ranged from $8.7 million to $52 million in present value terms. The net present value of the flow of benefits ranged from $68.2 million to $568 million. Hence benefit-cost ratios ranged from 4.5:1 (water efficiency project) to 22.2:1 (vulpia in temperate pastures). For these five project areas total investment was $114m, including some support from industry. The industry returns totalled $1311m giving an average benefit-cost ratio of 11.5.
NSW DPI's economics research has been supported by all the major R&D Corporations, the Australian Research Council, various Cooperative research Centres and ACIAR.
NSW DPI’s economists make key contributions to the CRCs for Cattle and Meat Quality, Australian Weed Management, Cotton Catchment Communities, Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity, Australian Invasive Animals, and Australian Sheep Industry.
Several economists have adjunct appointments at the level of full or associate professor with the University of New England, University of Sydney and Charles Sturt University. NSW DPI economists also supervise graduate students at Monash University, University of Melbourne and University of Queensland.
Economic Research Reports
Economists in NSW Department of Primary Industries conduct the following research and activities:
- analysis of the economic, environmental and social impacts of alternative agricultural technologies and resource management strategies for major farming systems in NSW;
- provision of economic information relevant to decision making by the clients of NSW DPI;
- assistance in identifying priorities for research and extension resources within the programs in NSW DPI.
See a full list of NSW DPI's Economic Research Reports
Find a list of Economic Researchers.
Phone: 02 6391 3608