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The Economics of Cosmetic Pesticide Use

  • Erik Lichtenberg

It has been argued that so-called “cosmetic” standards for produce quality increase pesticide use on fruits and vegetables. This paper shows that stricter quality standards unambiguously increase farm-level pesticide demand only when produce is sold in mixed lots with tolerances for characteristics determined by quality standards and there is no sampling error. Under more commonly encountered conditions, stricter quality standards may reduce pesticide demand. An empirical example of apple production suggests that grading standards have non-negligible effects and that more stringent grading standards lead to reduced pesticide use under plausible conditions. Copyright 1997, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/1243941
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Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 79 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 39-46

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:79:y:1997:i:1:p:39-46
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