• O33;
  • O38;
  • Q15;
  • Q16
  • Bt maize;
  • Genetically modified organisms (GMO);
  • Germany;
  • Panel data analysis


In this study, our goal is to identify and explain the underlying factors that drive regional adoption of Bt maize MON810 in Germany. Since regional differences cannot be explained by the occurrence of the target pest alone, we assume that under the given regulatory framework for genetically modified (GM) crop production in Germany, farm structures as well as the sociopolitical environment have also influenced regional adoption rates during the past years. Following a description of the relevant legal and economic framework in Germany, we develop theoretical hypotheses for regional variation in Bt maize adoption and test them econometrically with unique data at the federal state (Laender) and county (Landkreis) level. According to our analysis at the federal state level, the maize acreage per farm is the main driver of Bt maize adoption. In addition, there are signs that public opposition to GM cultivation as measured by membership in the German Friends of the Earth association significantly dampens GM cultivation. At the level of Brandenburg counties, the regional infestation frequency of the European Corn Borer, the target pest of Bt-Maize, is the major determinant of adoption. Although Bt maize is a scale-neutral technology for controlling damages caused by the Corn Borer, additional fixed costs due to regulation make the technology scale dependent.