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Moral Hazard, Inspection Policy, and Food Safety

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  • S. Andrew Starbird

Abstract

Buyers have imperfect information about the food safety efforts exerted by suppliers. To gather information about safety, buyers often employ sampling inspection. Sampling inspection exhibits sampling error so some unsafe product passes inspection and some safe product does not. This uncertainty influences buyer and supplier behavior. In this article, I use a principal-agent model to examine how sampling inspection policies influence food safety. I use the model to examine the sampling inspection policies in the 1996 Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Act. I conclude that the regulation of sampling inspection procedures is an effective tool for policy makers who wish to improve food safety. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Andrew Starbird, 2005. "Moral Hazard, Inspection Policy, and Food Safety," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 15-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:87:y:2005:i:1:p:15-27
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.0002-9092.2005.00698.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher J. O'Donnell, 2010. "Measuring and decomposing agricultural productivity and profitability change ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(4), pages 527-560, October.
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    4. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1393-1414, November.
    5. V. Eldon Ball & Charles Hallahan & Richard Nehring, 2004. "Convergence of Productivity: An Analysis of the Catch-up Hypothesis within a Panel of States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1315-1321.
    6. Paul, Catherine J. Morrison & Nehring, Richard, 2005. "Product diversification, production systems, and economic performance in U.S. agricultural production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 525-548, June.
    7. C.J. O'Donnell, 2010. "DPIN Version 1.0: A Program for Decomposing Productivity Index Numbers," CEPA Working Papers Series WP012010, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    8. Capalbo, Susan Marie, 1988. "Measuring The Components Of Aggregate Productivity Growth In U.S. Agriculture," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 13(01), July.
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