The Economics of Fair Trade
Fair Trade is a labeling initiative aimed at improving the lives of the poor in developing countries by offering better terms to producers and helping them to organize. Although Fair Trade–certified products still comprise a small share of the market—for example, Fair Trade–certified coffee exports were 1.8 percent of global coffee exports in 2009—growth has been very rapid over the past decade. Whether Fair Trade can achieve its intended goals has been hotly debated in academic and policy circles. In particular, debates have been waged about whether Fair Trade makes "economic sense" and is sustainable in the long run. The aim of this article is to provide a critical overview of the economic theory behind Fair Trade, describing the potential benefits and potential pitfalls. We also provide an assessment of the empirical evidence of the impacts of Fair Trade to date. Because coffee is the largest single product in the Fair Trade market, our discussion here focuses on the specifics of this industry, although we will also point out some important differences with other commodities as they arise.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 28 (2014)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
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.:
- Elder, Sara D. & Zerriffi, Hisham & Le Billon, Philippe, 2012. "Effects of Fair Trade Certification on Social Capital: The Case of Rwandan Coffee Producers," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(11), pages 2355-2367.
- Oeindrila Dube & Suresh Naidu, 2010. "Bases, Bullets, and Ballots: The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia," Working Papers 197, Center for Global Development.
- Weber, Jeremy G., 2011.
"How much more do growers receive for Fair Trade-organic coffee?,"
Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 678-685.
- Weber, Jeremy G., 2011. "How much more do growers receive for Fair Trade-organic coffee?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 677-684, October.
- Ruben, Ruerd & Fort, Ricardo, 2012. "The Impact of Fair Trade Certification for Coffee Farmers in Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 570-582.
- Beuchelt, Tina D. & Zeller, Manfred, 2011. "Profits and poverty: Certification's troubled link for Nicaragua's organic and fairtrade coffee producers," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1316-1324, May.
- Alexander Kadow, 2011.
"The Fair Trade movement:an economic perspective,"
2011_05, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
- Chris Arnot & Peter Boxall & Sean Cash, 2006.
"Do ethical consumers care about price? A revealed preference analysis of fair trade coffee purchases,"
Natural Field Experiments
00221, The Field Experiments Website.
- Chris Arnot & Peter C. Boxall & Sean B. Cash, 2006. "Do Ethical Consumers Care About Price? A Revealed Preference Analysis of Fair Trade Coffee Purchases," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 54(4), pages 555-565, December.
- Shareen Hertel & Lyle Scruggs & C. Patrick Heidkamp, 2007. "Human Rights and Public Opinion: From Attitudes to Action," Economic Rights Working Papers 3, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute, revised Apr 2008.
- Bacon, Christopher, 2005. "Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Organic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 497-511, March.
- repec:feb:natura:0061 is not listed on IDEAS
- Benjamin Crost & Joseph Felter & Patrick Johnston, 2014. "Aid under Fire: Development Projects and Civil Conflict," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1833-56, June.
- Arnould, Eric & Plastina, Alejandro & Ball, Dwayne, 2009. "Does Fair Trade Deliver on Its Core Value Proposition? Effects on Income, Educational Attainment, and Health in Three Countries," Staff General Research Papers Archive 39169, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Raynolds, Laura T., 2009. "Mainstreaming Fair Trade Coffee: From Partnership to Traceability," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1083-1093, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:28:y:2014:i:3:p:217-36. 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: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
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.