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Value Differentiation


  • Goodhue, Rachael E.
  • Rausser, Gordon C.


American agriculture is shifting from homogeneous commodities to differentiated products. Value differentiation, the process by which agrifood chain actors isolate, match, and exploit heterogeneity in consumer preferences and product attributes, is examined. Value differentiation is characterized by complementarities across four activities at each stage of the production chain: product characteristic measurement, product characteristic production, coordination between stages, and customer preference detection. Complementarities at the firm level are modeled using supermodularity. The model's predictions are discussed, as are potential testing approaches, and implications are presented for agrifood firms, marketing orders, and returns to research.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodhue, Rachael E. & Rausser, Gordon C., 2003. "Value Differentiation," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:31069

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    11. Drabenstott, Mark, 1994. "Industrialization: Steady Current or Tidal Wave?," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 9(4).
    12. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    13. Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-379, June.
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    16. repec:cdl:agrebk:666281 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Gregory D. Graff & Gordon C. Rausser & Arthur A. Small, 2003. "Agricultural Biotechnology's Complementary Intellectual Assets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 349-363, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rachael E. Goodhue & Dale M. Heien & Hyunok Lee & Daniel A. Sumner, 2003. "Contracts and Quality in the California Winegrape Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 23(3_4), pages 267-282, December.
    2. Alexander, Corinne E. & Goodhue, Rachael E., 1999. "Production Systems Competition And The Pricing Of Innovations: An Application To Biotechnology And Seed Corn," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21646, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Rehber, Erkan, 2000. "Vertical Coordination In The Agro-Food Industry And Contract Farming: A Comparative Study Of Turkey And The Usa," Research Reports 25225, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
    4. Wendy J. Umberger & Dawn D. Thilmany McFadden & Amanda R. Smith, 2009. "Does altruism play a role in determining U.S. consumer preferences and willingness to pay for natural and regionally produced beef?," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 268-285.
    5. Goodhue, Rachael E., 1998. "Input Control and Common Risk: Addressing Agent Heterogenity and Risk Aversion in the Presence of Moral Hazard," Working Papers 225885, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.


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