Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Co-regulation and voluntarism in the provision of food safety: lessons from institutional economics


Author Info

  • Hussain, Salman
Registered author(s):


    Traditional regulation in the food safety domain has been in the form of mandatory, inflexible food safety controls that are applied to firms. There has been a trend away from this regulatory paradigm towards more co-regulation and self-regulation by industry. This paper investigates the potential for systemic failure in the provision of safe food that might arise as a consequence of this new regulatory paradigm. These systemic failures occur owing to the fact that the food safety outcome depends on the behaviour of the three sets of agents (firms, consumers and the regulator). These populations of agents have generally been treated in the literature as homogeneous in terms of their behaviour and strategies. Further, the actions taken by any one agent are assumed to be independent of those taken by others. The institutional economics model that is developed assumes heterogeneity and inter-agent strategic interactions. Given this (more realistic) depiction of behaviour, instances of potential regulatory inefficiencies arise . In particular, the model challenges the trend towards voluntarism and self-regulation.

    Download Info

    If 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.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Scotland's Rural College (formerly Scottish Agricultural College), Land Economy & Environment Research Group in its series Working Papers with number 45996.

    as in new window
    Date of creation: Jul 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ags:srlewp:45996

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: King's Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG
    Web page:
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: co-regulation; strategic behaviour; food safety; ex ante regulation; institutional economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Institutional and Behavioral Economics;


    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. S. Salman Hussain, 2003. "Eco-innovations and industrial organisation: a review of complementary explanations of unsustainable economic paths," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(3/4), pages 243-261.
    2. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
    3. Shogren, Jason F. & Crocker, Thomas D., 1999. "Risk and Its Consequences," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 44-51, January.
    4. Buzby, Jean C. & Frenzen, Paul D., 1999. "Food safety and product liability," Food Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 637-651, December.
    5. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
    6. S. Salman Hussain, 2000. "Green Consumerism and Ecolabelling: A Strategic Behavioural Model," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 77-89.
    7. Brian Roe, 2004. "Optimal Sharing of Foodborne Illness Prevention between Consumers and Industry: The Effect of Regulation and Liability," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(2), pages 359-374.
    8. Laurian J. Unnevehr & Helen H. Jensen, 1999. "Economic Implications of Using HACCP as a Food Safety Regulatory Standard, The," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 99-wp228, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    9. Julie A. Caswell & Neal H. Hooker, 1996. "HACCP as an International Trade Standard," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 775-779.
    10. Viscusi, W Kip, 1984. "The Lulling Effect: The Impact of Child-Resistant Packaging on Aspirin and Analgesic Ingestions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 324-27, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:srlewp:45996. See general 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: (AgEcon Search).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.