IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Diffusion of food policy in the U.S.: The case of organic certification


  • Mosier, Samantha L.
  • Thilmany, Dawn


Organic food certification policy and programs are an interesting case to explore in terms of policy diffusion, as there has been interesting dynamics between the federal and state levels, and great diversity in the pace of diffusion across states. At the same time, this policy diffusion underlies a very dynamic marketplace that has relied on government-based certification policies and programs to stabilize and support growth of the organic food sector. The focus of this paper is a cross-section time series analysis of organic policy adoptions over the past several decades to explore the types of factors that have influenced diffusion across time and space. Although federal policy activity has been a key driver of this dynamic, there are several other state-specific factors that also help to explain the differential diffusion of policies in this realm.

Suggested Citation

  • Mosier, Samantha L. & Thilmany, Dawn, 2016. "Diffusion of food policy in the U.S.: The case of organic certification," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 80-91.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:61:y:2016:i:c:p:80-91
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2016.02.007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jayson L. Lusk & Brian C. Briggeman, 2009. "Food Values," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 184-196.
    2. Dettmann, Rachael L. & Dimitri, Carolyn, 2007. "Organic Consumers: A Demographic Portrayal of Organic Vegetable Consumption within the United States," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7899, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. D Rigby & S Brown, 2003. "Organic Food and Global Trade: Is the Market Delivering Agricultural Sustainability?," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0326, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    4. -, 1996. "Agenda y lista de documentos," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 34137, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    5. 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.
    6. Walker, Jack L., 1969. "The Diffusion of Innovations among the American States," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 880-899, September.
    7. Janssen, Meike & Hamm, Ulrich, 2014. "Governmental and private certification labels for organic food: Consumer attitudes and preferences in Germany," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P2), pages 437-448.
    8. Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Strength in Numbers: Group Size and Political Mobilization," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 73-91, April.
    9. Walker, Jack L., 1969. "The Diffusion of Innovations among the American States," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 880-899, September.
    10. Yuko Onozaka & Dawn Thilmany Mcfadden, 2011. "Does Local Labeling Complement or Compete with Other Sustainable Labels? A Conjoint Analysis of Direct and Joint Values for Fresh Produce Claim," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(3), pages 689-702.
    11. Loureiro, Maria L. & Hine, Susan E., 2002. "Discovering Niche Markets: A Comparison Of Consumer Willingness To Pay For Local (Colorado Grown), Organic, And Gmo-Free Products," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1-11, December.
    12. Veldstra, Michael D. & Alexander, Corinne E. & Marshall, Maria I., 2014. "To certify or not to certify? Separating the organic production and certification decisions," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P2), pages 429-436.
    13. Lusk, Jayson L. & Briggeman, Brian C., 2008. "AJAE appendix for “Food Values”," American Journal of Agricultural Economics APPENDICES, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-12, February.
    14. Laura Raynolds, 2000. "Re-embedding global agriculture: The international organic and fair trade movements," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 17(3), pages 297-309, September.
    15. Berry, Frances Stokes & Berry, William D., 1990. "State Lottery Adoptions as Policy Innovations: An Event History Analysis," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 395-415, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Seufert, Verena & Ramankutty, Navin & Mayerhofer, Tabea, 2017. "What is this thing called organic? – How organic farming is codified in regulations," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 10-20.
    2. Charalampia N. Anastasiou & Kiriaki M. Keramitsoglou & Nikos Kalogeras & Maria I. Tsagkaraki & Ioanna Kalatzi & Konstantinos P. Tsagarakis, 2017. "Can the “Euro-Leaf” Logo Affect Consumers’ Willingness-To-Buy and Willingness-To-Pay for Organic Food and Attract Consumers’ Preferences? An Empirical Study in Greece," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-17, August.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:61:y:2016:i:c:p:80-91. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.