Perishability as a determinant of vertical coordination: The case of the US egg, poultry, and pork industries
AbstractPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a simple model to demonstrate how a trade-off between incomplete contract distortions and excessive governance costs determine an agricultural firm's organizational choices. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, it is argued that the perishable nature of products exaggerates the incomplete contract distortion, such that products with a short biological production cycle (e.g. eggs) are likely to be operated under vertical integration, products with a medium cycle (e.g. poultry) are likely to be operated under product contracts, and products with a long cycle (e.g. pork) are likely to be operated under marketing contracts. Findings – This model helps explain why vertical integration dominates the US egg industry, why product contracts are prevalent in the turkey industry, and why marketing contracts have become common in the pork industry. The implications from this model are also applicable to other sectors and other countries, including China's agricultural sectors. Originality/value – This paper illustrates that perishable products are more vulnerable to opportunism, because the incomplete contract distortion is exaggerated by the perishable nature of the products. However, a local government can reshape firms' choices of vertical coordination by improving its legal infrastructure to reduce the incomplete contract distortions and then weaken the role of the perishable nature of products, so that contracting (product or marketing) may take place. Note that agricultural producers benefit more in selling their products through product/marketing contracts than spot markets.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal China Agricultural Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com
Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
- Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
- Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.