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Systemic Failure in the Provision of Safe Food

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Abstract

Many deficiencies in the capacity of a food system to deliver safe products are systemic in nature. We suggest a taxonomy of four general ways in which a systemic failure might occur. One relates to the connectedness, or topology, of the system. Another arises from mistrust on the part of downstream parties concerning signals on product attributes, production processes, and the performance of regulatory mechanisms. A third arises when asymmetric information leads to low incentives for preserving food quality. Finally, inflexibilities in adapting to different states of nature may leave the system vulnerable to failures. Innovations in information technology and institutional design may ameliorate many problems, while appropriate trade, industrial organization, science, and public infrastructure policies also may fortify the system.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University in its series Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications with number 02-wp299.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:02-wp299

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Keywords: incentives; information; mixing; process design; systems analysis; technology.;

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  1. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  2. 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.
  3. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  4. Loader, Rupert & Hobbs, Jill E., 1999. "Strategic responses to food safety legislation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 685-706, December.
  5. Swinbank, Alan, 1993. "The economics of food safety," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 83-94, April.
  6. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Two Remarks on the Property-Rights Literature," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 139-49, January.
  7. David A. Hennessy & Jutta Roosen & John A. Miranowski, 2001. "Leadership and the Provision of Safe Food," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 862-874.
  8. Holleran, Erin & Bredahl, Maury E. & Zaibet, Lokman, 1999. "Private incentives for adopting food safety and quality assurance," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 669-683, December.
  9. Buzby, Jean C. & Frenzen, Paul D., 1999. "Food safety and product liability," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 637-651, December.
  10. von Amsberg, Joachim, 1995. "Excessive environmental risks: An intergenerational market failure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1447-1464, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marian Garcia Martinez & Nigel Poole & Claire Skinner & Csaba Illes & József Lehota, 2006. "Food safety performance in European union accession countries: Benchmarking the fresh produce import sector in Hungary," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 69-89.
  2. Hirschauer, Norbert & Musshoff, Oliver, 2007. "A game-theoretic approach to behavioral food risks: The case of grain producers," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 246-265, April.
  3. Hirschauer, Norbert & Zwoll, Stefan, 2006. "Understanding and Managing Behavioural Risks -The Case of Food Risks Caused by Malpractice in Poultry Production," Working Paper Series 10287, Humboldt University Berlin, Department Agricultural Economics.
  4. Zwoll, Stefan & Hirschauer, Norbert, 2006. "Reduction of Behavioural Food Risks: An Analysis of Economic Incentives and Social Context Factors in the German Poultry Chains," 99th Seminar, February 8-10, 2006, Bonn, Germany 7730, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Carriquiry, Miguel A. & Babcock, Bruce A., 2005. "Reputations, Market Structure, and the Choice of Quality Assurance Systems in the Food Industry," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19549, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  6. Jaffee, Steve & Masakure, Oliver, 2005. "Strategic use of private standards to enhance international competitiveness: Vegetable exports from Kenya and elsewhere," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 316-333, June.
  7. Hirschauer, Norbert & Musshoff, Oliver, 2006. "Trust and the Profitability of Rule-Breaking in Grain Production," 99th Seminar, February 8-10, 2006, Bonn, Germany 7754, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  8. Charlier, Christophe & Valceschini, Egizio, 2006. "Traceability, Trust and Coordination in a Food Chain," 99th Seminar, February 8-10, 2006, Bonn, Germany 7718, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  9. Hussain, Salman, 2006. "Co-regulation and voluntarism in the provision of food safety: lessons from institutional economics," Working Papers 45996, Scottish Agricultural College, Land Economy Research Group.
  10. Carbone, Anna & Gaito, Marco & Senni, Saverio, 2007. "Consumers’ Buying Groups in the Short Food Chains: Alternatives for Trust," 2007 1st Forum, February 15-17, 2007, Innsbruck, Austria 6594, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
  11. Liang, Jing & Jensen, Helen H., 2008. "Marketing Agreement, Food Safety and Contract Design," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6434, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  12. Vanloqueren, Gaëtan & Baret, Philippe V., 2008. "Why are ecological, low-input, multi-resistant wheat cultivars slow to develop commercially? A Belgian agricultural 'lock-in' case study," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 436-446, June.
  13. Xiu, Changbai & Klein, K.K., 2010. "Melamine in milk products in China: Examining the factors that led to deliberate use of the contaminant," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 463-470, October.
  14. E. Rouvière & K. Latouche, 2014. "Impact of liability rules on modes of coordination for food safety in supply chains," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 111-130, February.
  15. Norbert Hirschauer & Stefan Zwoll, 2008. "Understanding and managing behavioural risks: the case of malpractice in poultry production," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 27-60, August.
  16. Christophe Charlier & Egizio Valceschini, 2008. "Coordination for traceability in the food chain. A critical appraisal of European regulation," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 1-15, February.
  17. Fares, M'hand & Rouviere, Elodie, 2010. "The implementation mechanisms of voluntary food safety systems," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 412-418, October.
  18. Goldsmith, Peter D. & Turan, Nesve A. & Gow, Hamish R., 2004. "Firms, Incentives, And The Supply Of Food Safety: A Formal Model Of Government Enforcement," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20343, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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