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The Economics of the Food System Revolution

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Reardon

    () (School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Renmin University of China, Beijing, 100872 China
    Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, International Food Policy Research Institute, Beijing 10081, China)

  • C. Peter Timmer

    (Professor Emeritus, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138)

Abstract

A revolution in food systems—food supply chains upstream from farms, to the food industry in the midstream segments of processing and wholesale and in the downstream segment of retail, then on to consumers—has been under way in the United States for more than a century and in developing countries for more than three decades. The transformation includes extensive consolidation, very rapid institutional and organizational change, and progressive modernization of the procurement system. In this article we examine the economics of these system-wide changes. We argue that the steps of conceptualizing and empirically researching this transformation—its patterns and trends, determinants, and impacts on farms and processing small and micro enterprises—are still in their infancy because of (a) remaining limitations on data suitable for formal modeling and hypothesis testing and (b) the sheer complexity of food system–related decisions that need to be modeled and understood. With the rapid accumulation of high-quality data now under way, conceptual and theoretical progress is also likely to be rapid.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Reardon & C. Peter Timmer, 2012. "The Economics of the Food System Revolution," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 225-264, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:4:y:2012:p:225-264
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    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. Timmer, C. Peter, 2013. "Coping with Climate Change: A Food Policy Approach," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152188, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. C. Peter Timmer, 2014. "Food Security in Asia and the Pacific: The Rapidly Changing Role of Rice," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 73-90, January.
    3. repec:bla:asiaps:v:4:y:2017:i:1:p:4-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sekabira, Haruna & Qaim, Matin, 2016. "Mobile Money, Agricultural Marketing, and Off-Farm Income in Uganda," Discussion Papers 234998, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    5. repec:oup:apecpp:v:39:y:2017:i:1:p:154-176. is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0767-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:aumajo:v:23:y:2015:i:1:p:49-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Rischke, Ramona & Kimenju, Simon C. & Klasen, Stephan & Qaim, Matin, 2015. "Supermarkets and food consumption patterns: The case of small towns in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 9-21.
    9. Scott, Gregory J., 2014. "Agregando valores às cadeias de valor," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 54(1), January.
    10. Minten, Bart & Assefa, Thomas Woldu & Abebe, Girum & Engida, Ermias & Tamru, Seneshaw, 2016. "Food processing, transformation, and job creation: The case of Ethiopia’s enjera markets," ESSP working papers 96, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Qaim, Matin & Andersson, Camilla I.M. & Chege, Christine G.K. & Kimenju, Simon Chege & Klasen, Stephan & Rischke, Ramona, 2014. "Nutrition Effects of the Supermarket Revolution on Urban Consumers and Smallholder Farmers in Kenya," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 177204, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Chiputwa, Brian & Qaim, Matin, 2014. "Sustainability standards, gender, and nutrition among smallholder farmers in Uganda," Discussion Papers 191001, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    13. Spielman, David J. & Kolady, Deepthi E. & Cavalieri, Anthony & Rao, N. Chandrasekhara, 2014. "The seed and agricultural biotechnology industries in India: An analysis of industry structure, competition, and policy options," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 88-100.
    14. Gómez, Miguel I. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Raney, Terri & Pinstrup-Andersen, Per & Meerman, Janice & Croppenstedt, André & Carisma, Brian & Thompson, Brian, 2013. "Post-green revolution food systems and the triple burden of malnutrition," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 129-138.
    15. C. Peter Timmer, 2017. "Food Security, Structural Transformation, Markets and Government Policy," Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(1), pages 4-19, January.
    16. Rao, Elizaphan J.O. & Qaim, Matin, 2013. "Supermarkets and agricultural labor demand in Kenya: A gendered perspective," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 165-176.

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