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Relational Contracting and Allocation of Decision Rights in the Agri-Food Industry: Producer Contracts and Food Safety

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  • Karantininis, Kostas
  • Graversen, Jesper T.
  • Rasmussen, Hans Jacob Nymann

Abstract

We apply a formal theoretical model of adaptation to two empirical settings within the agri-food industry: specialized pig production and food safety in Denmark. The objective is to allocate decision rights ex ante so that actual decisions taken ex post will optimize the profit accruing to the two parties in a contractual or integrative relation. Two applications are presented in this paper: First an actual partnership between two pork producers in Denmark. Based on detailed budgets we develop detailed schedules for the “reneging temptations” of the two partners- These are the temptations to renege on the contract during the evolution of the partnership. Using a model developed by Baker, Gibbons and Murphy (2006) we calculate equilibria using the Folk theorem in order to determine which is the best allocation of decision rights. We find that the existing allocation of decision rights in the case we examine is efficient in the sense that it results into a second best allocation. Using the same modelling approach we present a second application on salmonella control related to end-feeding, that is, salmonella contamination of pork due to filled bellies of pigs fed for the last 12 hours before delivery. Based on appropriate assumptions, the parties should give the decision right (whether to end-feed or not) to the slaughterhouse in order to reach the firstbest solution which, given the assumptions, is feasible

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Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 110th Seminar, February 18-22, 2008, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria with number 49877.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eea110:49877

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Keywords: Theory of the firm; Adaptation theory; Contracts; Decision Rights; Pig production; Food safety; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Farm Management; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Industrial Organization; D21; L2; Q1;

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  1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  2. Benito Arruñada & Luis Garicano & Luis Vázquez, 1999. "Contractual allocation of decision rights and incentives: The case of automobile distribution," Economics Working Papers 424, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Jonathan Levin, 2000. "Relational Incentive Contracts," Working Papers 01002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  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. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
  6. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "The Firm as a Subeconomy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 74-102, April.
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