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Labeling Policies and Market Behavior: Quality Standard and Voluntary Label Adoption


  • Bottega Lucie

    (EQUIPPE - LILLE 3 Université Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3)

  • Delacote Philippe

    (INRA, Agroparistech, Engref, Laboratoire d’économie forestière)

  • Ibanez Lisette

    (INRA, UMR 1135 LAMETA; NRA, UMR 356 Économie Forestière)


This paper focus's on the third-party certifiers' strategy when choosing a required label quality, and the consequent market outcome. We consider two different objectives of the certifier: maximizing global demand for the labeled product (wide public policy), or maximizing global quality of the market (global quality policy). In a duopoly set up with firms bearing different costs with respect to quality provision, firms always opt for differentiation strategies: only one adopts the label. However, the labeling firm is not necessarily the most efficient one. In the case of a wide public policy, the efficient firm will produce labeled products only if costs of labeling are sufficiently low. In the case of a global quality policy, the low cost firm will always push the high-cost firm into the labeling program.

Suggested Citation

  • Bottega Lucie & Delacote Philippe & Ibanez Lisette, 2009. "Labeling Policies and Market Behavior: Quality Standard and Voluntary Label Adoption," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-18, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:7:y:2009:i:2:n:3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Teisl, Mario F. & Roe, Brian & Hicks, Robert L., 2002. "Can Eco-Labels Tune a Market? Evidence from Dolphin-Safe Labeling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 339-359, May.
    2. Charles N. Noussair & Charles R. Plott & Raymond G. Riezman, 2013. "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 17, pages 299-328 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata, 2002. "Environmental Labeling and Incomplete Consumer Information in Laboratory Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 113-134, January.
    4. Douadia Bougherara & Virginie Piguet, 2008. "Marchés avec coûts d'information sur la qualité des biens : une application aux produits écolabellisés," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(1), pages 77-96.
    5. Claudia Keser & Marc Willinger, 2000. "La théorie des contrats dans un contexte expérimental : un survol des expériences sur les relations « principal-agent »," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 92(1), pages 237-253.
    6. Dhar, Tirtha & Foltz, Jeremy D., 2004. "Milk by Any Other Name... Consumer Benefits from Labeled Milk," Working Papers 201547, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Food System Research Group.
    7. Lynch, Michael & Miller, Ross M. & Plott, Charles R. & Porter, Russell., 1984. "Product Quality, Informational Efficiency and Regulations in Experimental Markets," Working Papers 518, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    8. Bjorner, Thomas Bue & Hansen, L.G.Lars Garn & Russell, Clifford S., 2004. "Environmental labeling and consumers' choice--an empirical analysis of the effect of the Nordic Swan," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 411-434, May.
    9. Stefanie Kirchhoff, 2000. "Green Business and Blue Angels," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 15(4), pages 403-420, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brécard, Dorothée, 2014. "Consumer confusion over the profusion of eco-labels: Lessons from a double differentiation model," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 64-84.
    2. Pio Baake & Helene Naegele, 2017. "Competition between For-Profit and Industry Labels: The Case of Social Labels in the Coffee Market," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1686, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Constantine Manasakis & Evangelos Mitrokostas & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2013. "Certification of corporate social responsibility activities in oligopolistic markets," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(1), pages 282-309, February.
    4. Teuber, Ramona, 2011. "Protecting Geographical Indications: Lessons learned from the Economic Literature," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 116081, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Dorothée Brécard, 2017. "Consumer misperception of eco-labels, green market structure and welfare," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 340-364, June.
    6. Tauber, Ramona & Anders, Sven M. & Langinier, Corinne, 2011. "The Economics of Geographical Indications: Welfare Implications," Working Papers 103262, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).
    7. Damette, Olivier & Delacote, Philippe, 2011. "Unsustainable timber harvesting, deforestation and the role of certification," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1211-1219, April.

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