Brian Wright’s interests in economics uncertainty and innovation date from his early experiences on his family’s sheep station in the Riverina district of New South Wales, Australia. He received a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics (First Class honors) from the University of New England, Armidale, and won one of two Frank Knox Fellowships given annually to Australian students by Harvard University, where he received an A.M. and Ph.D. in Economics. He then joined Yale University’s Economics Department and is now Chair of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
His research interests include economics of markets for storable commodities, market stabilization, agricultural policy, industrial organization, public finance, invention incentives, intellectual property rights, the economics of research and development, and the economics of conservation and innovation of genetic resources. He has co-authored or co-edited several books, including Storage and Commodity Markets; Reforming Agricultural Commodity Policy; Saving Seeds: The Economics of Conserving Genetic Resources at the CGIAR Centers, and Accessing Biodiversity and Sharing the Benefits: Lessons from Implementing the Convention on Biodiversity. He has published extensively in the leading journals in Economics and Agricultural Economics. In addition, he has coauthored articles in Nature Biotechnology, The Handbook of Plant Biotechnology, and Crop Science.
Wright is a Fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association. He served as the economist member of the Subcommittee on Proprietary Science and Technology of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR. He served on the Committee on Intellectual Property in Genomic and Protein Research and Innovation of the National Academies’ Board of Science, Technology and Economic Policy. He has recently collaborated with the Research Center for Property Exchange of Peking University. Last June, at the request of the World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, he gave a technical presentation at the World Grain Forum, Petersburg, Russia, on the use of international grain reserves for market stabilization. In October he presented an invited paper on agricultural innovation at the Washington, DC National Bureau of Economic Research meeting on Accelerating Innovation in Energy: Lessons from Other Sectors? He has subsequently presented invited lectures on grain markets and their stabilization at the World Bank, the Milken Institute, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.