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Organizational Issues in the Agrifood Sector: Toward a Comparative Approach

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  • Claude Ménard
  • Peter G. Klein

Abstract

This paper outlines a research program comparing the economic organization of agriculture in the United States and European Union. Both have highly developed agricultural sectors but their organizational arrangements vary widely. Comparative analysis not only provides a broad set of firms and industries to compare, but also highlights the interaction between the institutional environment and the arrangements established to govern agricultural transactions. We first assess the common trend toward consolidation and vertical integration, turning next to the economic organization of formal and informal networks. While history and path dependence explain some of the variety among U.S. and European practices, other local conditions are important as well. We conclude by assessing the policy implications of recent changes in economic organization.
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Suggested Citation

  • Claude Ménard & Peter G. Klein, 2004. "Organizational Issues in the Agrifood Sector: Toward a Comparative Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 750-755.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:86:y:2004:i:3:p:750-755
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.0002-9092.2004.00619.x
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    1. Mariano Tommasi & Pablo T. Spiller, 2004. "The Institutions of Regulation," Working Papers 67, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Mar 2004.
    2. Michael Sykuta & Harvey S. James, 2004. "Organizational Economics Research in the U.S. Agricultural Sector and the Contracting and Organizations Research Institute," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 756-761.
    3. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1998. "The Nature of the Farm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 343-386, October.
    4. repec:hrv:faseco:30747162 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. George Hendrikse & Jos Bijman, 2002. "Ownership Structure in Agrifood Chains: The Marketing Cooperative," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 104-119.
    6. Martinez, Stephen W., 2002. "A Comparison of Vertical Coordination in the U.S. Poultry, Egg, and Pork Industries," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33773, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1999. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(2), pages 471-517, April.
    8. Knoeber, Charles R, 1989. "A Real Game of Chicken: Contracts, Tournaments, and the Production of Broilers," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 271-292, Fall.
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