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Zur Ökonomik der Kontrollmaßnahmen bei Lebensmitteln und Futtermitteln

  • Lippert, Christian
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    The objective of this article is to describe and to analyse the basic relationships between control frequency, amount of fines, other social sanctions, the producers‘ capability to influence certain attributes (including costs of quality assurance) and damage incidence in the field of food and feedstuffs safety. For this purpose an economic model is developed that minimizes monitoring costs including (a) the harm prevented and (b) the revenues from fines. First, monitoring measures are optimized by exclusively taking account of the interests of consumers and taxpayers. In a second step, the model is enlarged by adding constraints relative to the costs of quality assurance so that aspects of both producer welfare and total social costs are explicitly accounted for when simultaneously optimizing the probability of detection and the degree of punishment. The results derived from the model show among other things: - From an economic point of view legal regulation (i.e. the setting of performance standards) is advisable only in cases of comparatively high potential damages. - Even when the entire production is to be free from certain residues, it is often not necessary to check all units of the commodity considered. - In the presence of (a) poor possibilities to influence an attribute - or a wide range of quality assurance costs among producers - and (b) prospective damages which justify a control frequency of one hundred percent, no fines at all should be stipulated in order to avoid allocative distortions. - In the case of strong social sanctions (e.g. losses of reputation), all else being equal the control frequency may be lowered considerably. Against the background of these conclusions the application of uniform control frequencies is inappropriate. Instead, every food control authority should be free to choose the size of samples, taking into account not only the given structure of fines but also its knowledge concerning the market specific social sanctions, monitoring costs, the extent of potential damages from legal transgressions as well as the producers’ possibilities and costs of influencing the relevant food or feedstuffs attributes.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/98119
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    Article provided by Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics in its journal German Journal of Agricultural Economics.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:gjagec:98119
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    1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521477185 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
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    9. Henson, Spencer & Caswell, Julie, 1999. "Food safety regulation: an overview of contemporary issues," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 589-603, December.
    10. Isaac Ehrlich, 1974. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: An Economic Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 68-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Loader, Rupert & Hobbs, Jill E., 1999. "Strategic responses to food safety legislation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 685-706, December.
    12. Golan, Elise H. & Vogel, Stephen J. & Frenzen, Paul D. & Ralston, Katherine L., 2000. "Tracing The Costs And Benefits Of Improvements In Food Safety: The Case Of Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Point Program For Meat And Poultry," Agricultural Economics Reports 34023, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    13. Antle, John M., 1999. "Benefits and costs of food safety regulation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 605-623, December.
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