Paul Heisey

Paul Heisey

Agricultural Economist


Paul Heisey is an Economist in the Structure, Technology and Productivity Branch of the Resource and Rural Economics Division. His work focuses on agricultural science policy, in particular public and private sector agricultural research and development, intellectual property, and genetic resources.


Paul joined ERS in 1998. From 1985 to 1998, he worked for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Pakistan, Malawi, and Mexico, where his research focused on impact assessment and the economics of technical change in cereals. This included work on varietal development and diffusion, seed systems, and fertilizer use in developing countries.


Ph.D. and M.A. in Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.Sc. in Mathematics, Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania.

Professional Affiliations

Paul is a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association and the American Economics Association.

Selected Publications

MacDonald, J., et al. 2016. Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in the United States, OECD Food and Agricultural Reviews. Paris, France: OECD Publishing.

Heisey, P.W. 2016. “The Structure of U.S. Agricultural and Food Research, with an Emphasis on Seed-Biotechnology Research,” in Stewardship for the Sustainability of Genetically Engineered Crops: The Way Forward in Pest Management, Coexistence, and Trade, G.A. Thompson, S.E. Lipari, and R.W.F. Hardy, eds. NABC Report 27, pp. 153-161. Ithaca, NY: North American Agricultural Biotechnology Council.

Heisey, P.W. 2015. Review of “Crop Yields and Global Food Security: Will Yield Increase Continue to Feed the World?” in American Journal of Agricultural Economics 97(2):661-663, 2014. R.A. Fischer, D. Byerlee, and G.O. Edmeades, eds. Canberra, Australia: Australian Center for International Agricultural Research.

Heisey, P.W., and K. Fuglie. 2014. “Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Integration for Development: The United States Experience,” in Proceedings of the XI Agricultural Science Congress on the Theme “Transform Agricultural Education to Reshape India’s Future.” New Delhi, India: India National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Wang, S.L., P.W. Heisey, W.E. Huffman, and K. Fuglie. 2013. “Public R&D, Private R&D, and U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth: Dynamic and Long-Run Relationships,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 95(5):1287-1293.

Jones, C.A., C.J. Nickerson, and P.W. Heisey. 2013. “New Uses of Old Tools? Greenhouse Gas Mitigation with Agriculture Sector Policies,” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 35(3):398-431.

Sparger, J.A., G.W. Norton, P.W. Heisey, and J. Alwang. 2013. “Is the Share of Agricultural Maintenance Research Rising in the United States?” Food Policy 38:126-135.

Fuglie, K., P.W. Heisey, J. King, C.E. Pray, and D. Schimmelpfennig. 2012. “The Contribution of Private Industry to Agricultural Innovation,” Science 338(6110):1031-1032. 

Beintema, N., G.-J. Stads, K. Fuglie, and P.W. Heisey. 2012. ASTI Global Assessment of Agricultural R&D Spending: Developing Countries Accelerate Investment. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), October.

Heisey, P.W., and S.W. Adelman. 2011. “Research Expenditures, Technology Transfer, and University Licensing Revenue,” Journal of Technology Transfer 36(1):38-60. Published on-line July 2009.

Heisey, P.W., and G.W. Norton. 2007. "Fertilizer and Other Farm Chemicals," in Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Volume 3: Agricultural Development: Farmers, Farm Production and Farm Markets. R.E. Evenson, and P.L. Pingali, eds., pp. 2741-2777. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier/North Holland.

King, J.L., and P.W. Heisey. 2007. "Public Provision of Knowledge for Policy Research: The Agricultural Biotechnology Intellectual Property Database," in Agricultural Biotechnology and Intellectual Property: Seeds of Change, J. Kesan, ed., pp. 132-140. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing.

Day-Rubenstein, K., P.W. Heisey, and J.L. King. 2006. "Public Sector Technology Transfer through Patents and Licensing: The Case of U.S. Agriculture," International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation 5(4):401-420.

Heisey, P.W., and D. Schimmelpfennig. 2006. "Regulation and the Structure of Biotechnology Industries," in Regulating Agricultural Biotechnology: Economics and Policy, R.E. Just, J.M. Alston, and D. Zilberman, eds., pp. 421-426. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Heisey, P.W., and M.L. Morris. 2006. "Economic Impact of Water Limited Conditions on Grain Production in Cereals," in Drought Adaptation in Cereals, J.-M. Ribaut, ed., pp. 17-48. New York, NY: Haworths Food Products Press.

Day-Rubenstein, K., and P.W. Heisey. 2006. "Crop Genetic Resources," Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 2006 Edition, EIB-16, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Heisey, P.W., J.L. King, K. Day-Rubenstein, and R. Shoemaker. 2006. Government Patenting and Technology Transfer, ERR-115, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. 

Day-Rubenstein, K., P.W. Heisey, R. Shoemaker, J. Sullivan, and G. Frisvold. 2005. Crop Genetic Resources: An Economic Appraisal, EIB-2, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Heisey, P.W., J.L. King, and K. Day-Rubenstein. 2005. "Patterns of Public-Sector and Private-Sector Patenting in Agricultural Biotechnology," AgBioForum 8(2&3):73-82.

Day-Rubenstein, K., and P.W. Heisey. 2005. "Can Technology Transfer Help Public Sector Researchers Do More with Less? The Case of USDA's Agricultural Research Service," AgBioForum 8(2&3):134-142.

Wiebe, K., and P.W. Heisey. 2004. "Innovation, Degradation, and Conservation in South Asia's Rice-Wheat System: Farmers Choices and Lessons from US Experience," in Agricultural Sustainability and the Rice-Wheat System, R. Lal, P. Hobbs, N. Uphoff, and D. Hansen, eds. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker.

Heisey, P.W., and M. Renkow. 2003. "Agricultural R&D, Resources, and Productivity," in Land Quality, Agricultural Productivity, and Food Security, K. Wiebe, ed. Cheltenham, UK/ Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing Co.

Heisey, P.W., M.A. Lantican, and H.J. Dubin. 2003. “Wheat,” in The Impact of International Agricultural Research: Varietal Improvement and Its Effects on Productivity, R.E. Evenson, and D.L. Gollin, eds. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Day-Rubenstein, K., P.W. Heisey, C. Klotz-Ingram, and G.B. Frisvold. 2003. "Competitive Grants and the Funding of Agricultural Research in the U.S.," Review of Agricultural Economics 25(2):352-368.

Morris, M.L., and P.W. Heisey. 2003. "Estimating the Benefits of Plant Breeding Research: Methodological Issues and Practical Challenges," Agricultural Economics 29(3):241-252.

Heisey, P.W., C.S. Srinivasan, and C.G. Thirtle. 2002. "Privatization of Plant Breeding in Industrialized Countries: Causes, Consequences, and the Public Sector Response," in Agricultural Research Policy in an Era of Privatization, D. Byerlee, and R. Echeverra, eds. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Heisey, P.W. 2002. "International Wheat Breeding and Future Wheat Productivity in Developing Countries," in Wheat Situation and Outlook Yearbook, WHS-2002, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Cassaday, K., M. Smale, C. Fowler, and P.W. Heisey. 2001. "Benefits from Giving and Receiving Genetic Resources: The Case of Wheat," Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 127:1-10, September.

Heisey, P.W., C.S. Srinivasan, and C. Thirtle. 2001. Public Sector Plant Breeding in a Privatizing World, AIB-772, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Heisey, P.W. 2001. “Agricultural Research and Development (R&D), Agricultural Productivity, and Food Security,” Issues in Food Security, AIB-765-10, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

R. Shoemaker, ed., with contributions from J. Harwood, K. Day-Rubenstein, T. Dunahay, P.W. Heisey, L. Hoffman, C. Klotz-Ingram, W. Lin, L. Mitchell, W.D. McBride, and J. Fernandez-Cornejo. 2001. Economic Issues in Agricultural Biotechnology, AIB-762, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

Pingali, P.L., and P.W. Heisey. 2001. "Cereal Crop Productivity in Developing Countries: Past Trends and Future Prospects," in Agricultural Science Policy: Changing Global Agendas, J.M. Alston, P.G. Pardey, and M. Taylor, eds. Baltimore, MD/London, UK: IFPRI/The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Byerlee, D., P.W. Heisey, and P.L. Pingali. 2001. "Realizing Yield Gains for Food Staples in Developing Countries in the Early 21st Century: Prospects and Challenges,” in Food Needs of the Developing World in the Early Twenty-First Century: the Proceedings of the Study Week of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 27-30 January 1999, Pontificiae Academiae Scientiarum Scripta Varia No. 97. Vatican City, Italy: Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Smale, M., J. Hartell, P.W. Heisey, and B. Senauer. 1998. "The Contribution of Genetic Resources and Diversity to Wheat Production in the Punjab of Pakistan," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 80(3):482-493, August.

Morris, M.L., and P.W. Heisey. 1998. "Achieving Desirable Levels of Crop Diversity in Farmers Fields: Factors Affecting the Production and Use of Commercial Seed," in Farmers, Gene Banks and Crop Breeding: Economic Analyses of Diversity in Wheat, Maize, and Rice, M. Smale, ed. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Press.

Heisey, P.W., M.L. Morris, D. Byerlee, and M.A. Lopez-Pereira. 1998. "Economics of Hybrid Maize Adoption," in Maize Seed Industries in Developing Countries, M.L. Morris, ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Heisey, P.W., M. Smale, D. Byerlee, and E. Souza. 1997. "Wheat Rusts and the Costs of Genetic Diversity in the Punjab of Pakistan," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 79(3):726-737, August.

Heisey, P.W., and W. Mwangi. 1997. "Fertilizer Use and Maize Production in Sub-Saharan Africa," in Africa's Emerging Maize Revolution, D. Byerlee, and C.K. Eicher, eds. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Smale, M., and P.W. Heisey. 1997. "Maize Technology and Productivity in Malawi," in Africa's Emerging Maize Revolution, D. Byerlee, and C.K. Eicher, eds. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Byerlee, D., and P.W. Heisey. 1997. "Evolution of the African Maize Economy," in Africa's Emerging Maize Revolution, D. Byerlee, and C.K. Eicher, eds. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Byerlee, D., and P.W. Heisey. 1996. "Past and Potential Impacts of Maize Research in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Assessment," Food Policy 21(3):255-277, July.

Smale, M., P.W. Heisey, and H.D. Leathers. 1995. "Maize of the Ancestors and Modern Varieties: The Microeconomics of HYV Adoption in Malawi," Economic Development and Cultural Change 43:351-368, January.

Smale, M., and P.W. Heisey. 1994. "Maize Research in Malawi Revisited: An Emerging Success Story?" Journal of International Development 6:689-706, November/December.

Hussain, S., D. Byerlee, and P. Heisey. 1994. "Impacts of the Training and Visit Extension System on Farmers' Knowledge and Adoption of Technology: Evidence from Pakistan," Agricultural Economics 10(1):39-47, February.

Heisey, P.W., K.A. Tetlay, Z. Ahmad, and M. Ahmad. 1993. "Varietal Change in Post-Green Revolution Agriculture: Empirical Evidence for Wheat in Pakistan," Journal of Agricultural Economics 44(3):428-442, September.

Smale, M., and P.W. Heisey. 1993. "Simultaneous Estimation of Seed-Fertilizer Adoption Decisions: An Application to Hybrid Maize in Malawi," Technological Forecasting and Social Change 43(3-4):353-368, May/June.

Heisey, P.W., M. Ahmad, E.J. Stevens, and K. Khan. 1992. "Crop Intensification in Maize-Based Mountain Agriculture: The Swat Mountains," in Farming Systems of Pakistan: Diagnosing Priorities for Agricultural Research, D. Byerlee, and T. Husain, eds. Lahore, Pakistan: Vanguard Press.

Heisey, P.W., and J.P. Brennan. 1991. "An Analytical Model of Farmers' Demand for Replacement Seed," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 73(4):1044-1052, November.

Tetlay, K.A., P.W. Heisey, Z. Ahmed, and M. Ahmad. 1991. "Farmers' Sources of Wheat Seed and Wheat Seed Management in Three Irrigated Regions of Pakistan," Seed Science and Technology 19(1):123-138.