Global networks of genetically modified crops technology: a patent citation network analysis

  • Jiaojiao Ji
  • George A. Barnett
  • Jianxun ChuEmail author


This paper employs the patent data of four major genetically modified (GM) crops, soybeans, cotton, maize and rapeseed, to illustratee how the innovation of GM crop technology diffused and distributed globally over time. Data collected from the Derwent Innovation Index, were employed to construct country patent citation networks, from 1984 to 2015, and the results revealed that developed countries were early adopters, and the primary actors in the innovation of GM crop technology. Only seven developing countries appeared in the country citation network. Most developed countries were reluctant to apply GM crop technology for commercial cultivation. Private businesses stood out in the patent citation network. The early adoption and better performance of developed countries can be explained by the activities of large established private companies.


Genetically modified technology Technology diffusion Patent citation network Globalization 

Mathematics Subject Classification


JEL Classification




We would like to thank Brittany N. Anderton for her advice about the keywords searching of genetically modified technology; Billy Liu and Lixiang Wu for their suggestions about network extraction; Joe Egan for English language editing. This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC No. 71573241); China Scholarship Council (CSC) Research Program.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Affairs, Science Communication Research CenterUniversity of Science and Technology of China (USTC)HefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Computational Communication Collaboratory, School of Journalism and CommunicationNanjing UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of CommunicationUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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