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The Origins of State Pure Food Regulation

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  • LAW, MARC T.

Abstract

Why did state governments begin to regulate the food industry in the late nineteenth century? One possible explanation is that pure food regulation was the result of rent seeking on the part of traditional food producers who wanted to limit the availability of new substitutes. Another potential hypothesis is that regulation was desired because it helped solve an asymmetric information problem in the market for food products. I find the evidence to be more consistent with the latter hypothesis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 63 (2003)
Issue (Month): 04 (December)
Pages: 1103-1130

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:63:y:2003:i:04:p:1103-1130_00

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Cited by:
  1. Marc T. Law & Sukkoo Kim, 2004. "Specialization and Regulation: The Rise of Professionals and the Emergence of Occupational Licensing Regulation," NBER Working Papers 10467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Logan, Trevon D., 2006. "Food, nutrition, and substitution in the late nineteenth century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 527-545, July.
  3. Franck, Raphaƫl & Johnson, Noel D. & Nye, John V.C., 2014. "From internal taxes to national regulation: Evidence from a French wine tax reform at the turn of the twentieth century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 77-93.
  4. Marc T. Law & Gary D. Libecap, 2004. "The Determinants of Progressive Era Reform: The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906," NBER Working Papers 10984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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