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The Search for Credible Information in Social and Environmental Global Governance: The Kosher Label

Author

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  • Starobin Shana

    (Duke University)

  • Weinthal Erika

    (Duke University)

Abstract

Hundreds of eco-labels and social labels exist for consumer products. These labels claim to provide information about characteristics of these products, which consumers cannot directly observe but which many of them consider desirable, such as low environmental impact, good treatment of workers during production, and relatively high prices paid to the local producers of ingredients from developing countries. Third-party certifiers are supposed to solve the well-known problem that a producer's unilateral declarations lack credibility, given the producer's conflict of interest and the information asymmetries between producer and consumer. Much of the literature on global private regulationthrough standards for environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility, among othersassumes that third-party certification works (i.e., overcomes the problems of producer self-declaration). But closer inspection shows that many third-party certifiers lack credibility. This article examines why some third party certifiers are more credible than others. In doing so, we elucidate the ways in which social capital and trust bolster third party certifiers credibility. The empirical analysis focuses primarily on Kosher food labels within the global food supply chain. We then explore the consequences of the credibility paradox for other third party certified labels that promote social and environmental values.

Suggested Citation

  • Starobin Shana & Weinthal Erika, 2010. "The Search for Credible Information in Social and Environmental Global Governance: The Kosher Label," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-37, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:buspol:v:12:y:2010:i:3:n:8
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Büthe Tim, 2010. "Global Private Politics: A Research Agenda," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-26, October.
    2. Auld Graeme & Cashore Benjamin & Balboa Cristina & Bozzi Laura & Renckens Stefan, 2010. "Can Technological Innovations Improve Private Regulation in the Global Economy?," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-42, October.
    3. repec:spr:agrhuv:v:35:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9822-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Büthe Tim, 2010. "Private Regulation in the Global Economy: A (P)Review," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-40, October.
    5. Baddeley, Shane & Cheng, Peter & Wolfe, Robert, 2011. "Trade Policy Implications of Carbon Labels on Food," Commissioned Papers 122740, Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network.
    6. Cafaggi Fabrizio & Janczuk Agnieszka, 2010. "Private Regulation and Legal Integration: The European Example," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-42, October.
    7. Fuchs Doris & Kalfagianni Agni, 2010. "The Causes and Consequences of Private Food Governance," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-36, October.
    8. Mayer Frederick & Gereffi Gary, 2010. "Regulation and Economic Globalization: Prospects and Limits of Private Governance," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(3), pages 1-27, October.

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