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Applying economic sociology to understand the meaning of "Quality" in food markets


  • Gilles Allaire


This article reviews the concept of the "market" and questions the standard view of the "market" developed by orthodox economic theory. The article highlights how Economic Sociology and Convention Theory is more useful in understanding markets and appreciating markets as social constructs, which are governed by institutions and social orders. This adjustment in the analytical framework to study markets and especially food markets, is useful in unpacking the various dimensions of "quality" in food products and illustrating that "quality" is an institution that is shaped by society and by culture. Copyright (c) 2010 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilles Allaire, 2010. "Applying economic sociology to understand the meaning of "Quality" in food markets," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 41(s1), pages 167-180, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:41:y:2010:i:s1:p:167-180

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2002. "Information and the Change in the Paradigm in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 460-501, June.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
    3. Kindleberger, Charles P, 1983. "Standards as Public, Collective and Private Goods," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 377-396.
    4. Hatanaka, Maki & Bain, Carmen & Busch, Lawrence, 2005. "Third-party certification in the global agrifood system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 354-369, June.
    5. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
    6. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    7. Claude Ménard, 2004. "The Economics of Hybrid Organizations," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 345-345, September.
    8. Beckert, Jens, 2007. "The social order of markets," MPIfG Discussion Paper 07/15, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Dervillé, Marie & Allaire, Gilles, 2014. "Change of competition regime and regional innovative capacities: Evidence from dairy restructuring in France," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 347-360.
    3. repec:eee:agisys:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:330-339 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Carmen Bain & Tamera Dandachi, 2014. "Governing GMOs: The (Counter) Movement for Mandatory and Voluntary Non-GMO Labels," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(12), pages 1-21, December.
    5. Sylvaine Lemeilleur & Gilles Allaire, 2017. "Standardisation and guarantee systems: what can participatory certification offer?," Working Papers hal-01594049, HAL.
    6. Lemeilleur, S. & Allaire, G., 2016. "Standardisation and guarantee systems: what can participatory certification offer?," Working Papers MOISA 201605, UMR MOISA : Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d'Acteurs : CIHEAM-IAMM, CIRAD, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro - Montpellier, France.
    7. repec:rvr:journl:2016:12094 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Labatut, Julie & Aggeri, Franck & Allaire, Gilles, 2013. "Étudier les biens communs par les changements institutionnels : régimes de propriété autour des races animales face à l’innovation génomique," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 14.

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