Exploring the Economic Rationale for Protecting Geographical Indicators in Agriculture
The misappropriation of the names of geographical regions such as Parma, Roquefort and Champagne is protected in the European Union by a system of Geographical Indications, and is acknowledged by the World Trade Organization as an important intellectual property right. This article addresses whether there is a case for similar protection in South Africa. The article explores the economic rationale for implementing a system of Geographical Indications by addressing issues such as information asymmetry and the role of reputation; formation of niche markets; monopoly formation, value added and rural development. The economic rationale for protecting Geographical Indications derives mainly from the fact that place of origin may be used as a quality signal, or alternatively, that the resources of the region may be captured as quality attributes. In the first instance the meaning of the geographical name is emphasized in order to reduce information asymmetries. Where place of origin is used as an attribute, resources of the region are used to increase the value of the product. This includes specific resources such as production techniques, varieties and species, but also resources that are general to the region such as landscape, environment and culture. Economic arguments present a strong justification for the introduction of geographical indications in South Africa. At the same time it will afford greater protection to indigenous resources and geographical names which could, through the collective and inclusive nature of the system, directly contribute to rural development.
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.:
- 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.
- Carl Shapiro, 1982. "Consumer Information, Product Quality, and Seller Reputation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 20-35, Spring.
- Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1986.
NBER Working Papers
1876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1989. "Imperfect information in the product market," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 769-847 Elsevier.
- Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:agreko:10128. 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.