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Reforms, Globalization, and Endogenous Agricultural Structures

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  • Swinnen, Johan F.M.

Abstract

In this paper I draw lessons from two quasi-natural experiments (the transition process in former Communist countries and the rapid globalization of food chains) on the optimality of farms and agricultural structures more generally. I argue that (a) the farm structures that have emerged from the transition process are much more diverse than expected ex ante; (b) this diversity is to an important extent determined by economic mechanisms which are influenced by initial conditions (eg technology) and reform policies; (c) non-traditional farm structures have played an important role during transition since they were optimal to address the specific institutional and structural constraints imposed by the transition process; (d) there is more diversity than often argued in the farms that are integrated in global food chains; (e) endogenous institutional (contracting) innovations in food chains may lock existing farm structures in a long-run institutional framework; and (f) indicators based on farm structures are not a good measure of welfare effects of the globalization of food chains.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 111th Seminar, June 26-27, 2009, Canterbury, UK with number 52802.

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Date of creation: 20 Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eaa111:52802

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Keywords: Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development;

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Cited by:
  1. Deininger, Klaus & Byerlee, Derek, 2012. "The Rise of Large Farms in Land Abundant Countries: Do They Have a Future?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 701-714.
  2. Linda Kleemann & Rainer Thiele, 2014. "Rural Welfare Implications of Large-scale Land Acquisitions in Africa: A Theoretical Framework," Kiel Working Papers 1921, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Ito, Junichi & Bao, Zongshun & Su, Qun, 2012. "Distributional effects of agricultural cooperatives in China: Exclusion of smallholders and potential gains on participation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 700-709.
  4. Otsuka, Keijiro, 2012. "Presidential Address at 27th International Conference of Agricultural Economists, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil : Food Insecurity, Income Inequality, and the Changing Comparative Advantage in World Agricultu," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 127068, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Bojnec, Štefan & Fertő, Imre & Jámbor, Attila & Tóth, József, 2010. "Institutions, policy reforms and efficiency in new member states from Centraland Eastern Europe," IAMO Forum 2010: Institutions in Transition – Challenges for New Modes of Governance 52712, Leib­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO).

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