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Markets, Contracts, or Integration? The Adoption, Diffusion, and Evolution of Organizational Form

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  • Sykuta, Michael E.
  • Klein, Peter G.
  • James, Harvey S., Jr.
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    Abstract

    The rise of contract farming and vertical integration is one of the most important changes in modern agriculture. Yet the adoption and diffusion of these new forms of organization has varied widely across regions, commodities, or farm types, however. Transaction cost theories and the like are not fully effective at explaining the variation of adoption rates of different organizational forms, in part because of their inherent static nature. In order to explain the adoption, diffusion and evolution of organizational form, a more dynamic framework is required. This paper lays out such a framework for understanding the evolution of organizational practices in U.S. agriculture by drawing on existing theories of economic organization, the diffusion of technological innovation, and organizational complementarities. Using recent trends as stylized facts we argue that the agrifood sector is characterized by strong complementarities among its constituent features and that these complementarities help explain the stylized facts. We also discuss several testable hypotheses concerning changes in organizational form in agriculture.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19390.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19390

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    Keywords: contracting; vertical integration; organizational innovation; diffusion; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; L14; L22; Q13; O33;

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    1. Bronwyn H. Hall & Beethika Khan, 2003. "Adoption of New Technology," NBER Working Papers 9730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 1999. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Papers 0096, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
    3. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 1999. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
    5. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    6. Martinez, Stephen W., 1999. "Vertical Coordination in the Pork and Broiler Industries: Implications for Pork and Chicken Products," Agricultural Economics Reports 34031, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Knoeber, Charles R, 1989. "A Real Game of Chicken: Contracts, Tournaments, and the Production of Broilers," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 271-92, Fall.
    8. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1972. "Factors affecting the diffusion of technology," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 3-33.
    9. William R. Keeton, 1996. "Do bank mergers reduce lending to businesses and farmers? New evidence from Tenth District states," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 63-75.
    10. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1998. "The Nature of the Farm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 343-86, October.
    11. Claude Ménard & Peter G. Klein, 2004. "Organizational Issues in the Agrifood Sector: Toward a Comparative Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 750-755.
    12. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
    13. Langlois, Richard N., 2002. "Modularity in technology and organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 19-37, September.
    14. MacDonald, James M. & Perry, Janet E. & Ahearn, Mary Clare & Banker, David E. & Chambers, William & Dimitri, Carolyn & Key, Nigel D. & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Southard, Leland W., 2004. "Contracts, Markets, and Prices: Organizing the Production and Use of Agricultural Commodities," Agricultural Economics Reports 34013, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    15. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
    16. Claude Ménard & Peter G. Klein, 2004. "Organizational Issues in the Agrifood Sector: Toward a Comparative Approach," Industrial Organization 0401005, EconWPA.
    17. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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