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Kelly Day-Rubenstein

Agricultural Economist


Kelly Day Rubenstein is an Economist with the Structure, Technology and Productivity Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division. Her research focuses on agricultural science policy (particularly economic aspects of agricultural research and development) and the role of genetic resources in the agricultural production process.

Current Projects

  • Economic Aspects of Genetic Resources: Genetic resources are critical inputs into the agricultural R&D process. Major components of this project include the role of genetic resources in agricultural production, including adaptation to climate change, genetic diversity, valuation of genetic resources, and international germplasm exchange.
  • Agricultural Research and Development: Public sector research is a powerful tool to promote various missions of USDA, thus the level and direction of public R&D has important implications for agriculture. We empirically evaluate research funding, both public and private. Issues being examined include the trends in research direction, the use of various institutional arrangements, and key factors affecting R&D, such as intellectual property rights.



Kelly received an M.S. in agricultural and applied economics in 1990 from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in economics from the University of St Thomas in St. Paul.

Selected Publications:

Day-Rubenstein, K., and K. Fuglie, "R&D and Productivity Lag in Food Manufacturing," Amber Waves, June 2012.

Malcolm, S., E. Marshall, M. Aillery, P. Heisey, M. Livingston, and K. Day-Rubenstein, Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate: Economic and Environmental Implications Vary by U.S. Region, ERR-136, July 2012.

Fuglie, K. O., P. Heisey, J. King, Carl. K. Day-Rubenstein, D. Schimmelpfennig, S. L. Wang and R. Karmarkar-Deshmukh, Research Investments and Market Structure in the Food Processing, Agriculture Input and Biofuel Industries Worldwide, ERR-130, December 2011. 

Heisey, P., J. King and K. Day-Rubenstein. "Public Research Yields Clear Benefits, but Science Benefits Are Measured in More Than Dollars," AW feature, June 2011.

Heisey, P., J. King, K. Day-Rubenstein, D. Bucks, and R. Welsh. Assessing the Benefits of ARS R&D Within an Economic Framework, ERR-95, May 2010.

Frisvold, G., and K. Day Rubenstein. "Bioprospecting and Biodiversity Conservation: What Happens When Discoveries are Made?" Arizona Law Review, Vol. 50, No. 2 (2008).

Day-Rubenstein, K., P. Heisey, and D. Schimmelpfennig, "Sources of Public Agricultural R&D Changing," Amber Waves," Vol. 5, Issue 3, U.S. Department of Agriculture, June 2007.

Day-Rubenstein, K., P. Heisey, and J. King. "Public Sector Technology Transfer through Patents and Licensing: The Case of U.S. Agriculture," International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, Vol. 5, No. 4 (2006/2007). Payment required for access beyond the abstract.

Day Rubenstein, K., M. Smale and M.P. Widrlechner. "Demand for Genetic Resources and the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System," Crop Science, Vol. 46 No. 3, (2006).

Heisey, P., J. King, K. Day-Rubenstein, and R. Shoemaker. "Government Patenting and Technology Transfer," ERR-15, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Report March, 2006.

Day Rubenstein, K., and P. Heisey. "Crop Genetic Diversity Boosts Production But Faces Threats," Amber Waves, Vol. 3, No. 4, U.S. Department of Agriculture, September 2005.

Day Rubenstein, K., P. Heisey, R. Shoemaker, J. Sullivan, and G. Frisvold. Crop Genetic Resources: An Economic Appraisal. Economic Information Bulletin No. 2, U.S. Department of Agriculture, May 2005.

Day Rubenstein, K., and P.W. Heisey. "Can technology transfer help public-sector researchers do more with less? The case of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service," AgBioForum, Vol. 8, No. 213 (2005).

Heisey, P.W., J.L. King, and K. Day Rubenstein. "Patterns of public-sector and private-sector patenting in agricultural biotechnology," AgBioForum, Vol. 8, No. 213 (2005).

Day Rubenstein, K. "Transferring Public Research: The Patent Licensing Mechanism in Agriculture," Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol. 28, No. 2 (2003). Payment required for access beyond the abstract.

Day-Rubenstein, K., P. Heisey, C. Klotz-Ingram and G. Frisvold. "Competitive Grants and the Funding of Agricultural Research in the U.S," Review of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 25, No. 2, (2003).

Smale, M., and K. Day-Rubenstein. "The Demand for Crop Genetic Resources: International Use of the U. S. National Plant Germplasm System," World Development, Vol. 30, No. 9 (2002).

Last updated: Thursday, March 05, 2015

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