Bt Corn and Insect Resistance: An Economic Assessment of Refuges

Terrance M. Hurley, Bruce A. Babcock, Richard L. Hellmich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Genetically engineered crops offer farmers a new option for controlling pests. The high efficacy of these pesticidal crops, combined with the potential for widespread adoption, has raised concerns that pest resistance may prematurely diminish their value. In response to these concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency requires resistance management plans. Current resistance management plans rely on a high-dose refuge strategy. This analysis extends the current framework for evaluating high-dose refuge strategies to include a measure of agricultural productivity and conventional pesticide use. The economic tradeoff relative to agricultural productivity, conventional pesticide use, and pest resistance is assessed when Bt corn is planted to control the European corn borer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-194
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2001


  • Biotechnology
  • Corn
  • European corn borer
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • High-dose refuge
  • Resistance management
  • Transgenic crops


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