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The Changing Public Role in Services to Agriculture: The Case of Information

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  • Zezza, Annalisa
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    Abstract

    The paper analyzes the changes that have taken place in the nature of agriculture information and their consequences on the public role of related public services with specific regard to process undergoing in the European Union. Increased interest in food quality and food safety issues in a global consumer driven society, together with major attention to environmental and ethical issues related to food production, enlarge both the object of agricultural information and the audience of stakeholders in the food chain and in the general public. Information policy with regard to a multifunctional approach to agriculture, can be finalized to correct three main sources of market failures as access to information, quality and adverse selection and externalities and provision of public goods. The privatization of agricultural research and extension, although useful from the point of view of economic efficiency, poses a number of threats to the development of knowledge for sustainable agriculture. If the public sector decides to move away from the delivering of services, public action can still be relevant in orienting, targeting, regulating and funding in win-win solutions where the advantages of public extension, as open access and evaluation of social priorities, join efficiency and market orientation of the private sector.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/24902
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain with number 24902.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae02:24902

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    Related research

    Keywords: information; public goods; food quality; externalities; public services; extension; Public Economics;

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    1. David A. Hennessy, 1996. "Information Asymmetry as a Reason for Food Industry Vertical Integration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1034-1043.
    2. Blandford, David & Fulponi, Linda, 1999. "Emerging Public Concerns in Agriculture: Domestic Policies and International Trade Commitments," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 409-24, August.
    3. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
    4. Runge, C. Ford, 1998. "Emerging Issues In Agricultural Trade And The Environment," Working Papers 14383, University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.
    5. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
    6. John M. Antle, 1996. "Efficient Food Safety Regulation in the Food Manufacturing Sector," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1242-1247.
    7. Marette, Stephan & Crespi, John M & Schiavina, Allesandra, 1999. "The Role of Common Labelling in a Context of Asymmetric Information," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 167-78, June.
    8. John M. Antle, 1999. "The New Economics of Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 993-1010.
    9. Bozeman, Barry, 2000. "Technology transfer and public policy: a review of research and theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 627-655, April.
    10. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    11. Mahe, Louis-Pascal, 1997. "Environment and Quality Standards in the WTO: New Protectionism in Agricultural Trade? A European Perspective," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 24(3-4), pages 480-503.
    12. Antle, John M., 2001. "Economic analysis of food safety," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 19, pages 1083-1136 Elsevier.
    13. Sarahelen Thompson & Steven T. Sonka, 1997. "Potential Effects of Information Technologies on the Economic Performance of Agricultural and Food Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 657-662.
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