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Grading, Minimum Quality Standards, and the Labeling of Genetically Modified Products

  • Harvey Lapan
  • GianCarlo Moschini

We relate the labeling of genetically modified (GM) products to the theory of grading and minimum quality standards. The model represents three stages in the supply chain, assumes a vertical product differentiation framework, allows for the accidental commingling of non-GM products, and treats regulation as a purity threshold for non-GM products. We find that a non-GM purity level that is too strict leads to the disappearance of the non-GM product, and that some quality standard benefits farmers. Indeed, the standard that is optimal from the perspective of producers is stricter than what is optimal for consumers and for societal welfare. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 769-783

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:89:y:2007:i:3:p:769-783
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  1. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-45, November.
  2. José Benjamin Falck-Zepeda & Greg Traxler & Robert G. Nelson, 2000. "Surplus Distribution from the Introduction of a Biotechnology Innovation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 360-369.
  3. Stivers, Andrew, 2003. "Quality standards with exogenously distributed quality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 131-136, July.
  4. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  5. Maxwell, John W., 1998. "Minimum quality standards as a barrier to innovation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 355-360, March.
  6. Harvey E. Lapan & Giancarlo Moschini, 2004. "Innovation and Trade with Endogenous Market Failure: The Case of Genetically Modified Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(3), pages 634-648.
  7. Bullock, David S. & Desquilbet, Marion & Nitsi, Elisavet I., 2000. "The Economics Of Non-Gmo Segregation And Identity Preservation," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21845, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  8. Bruce Gardner, 2003. "U.S. Food Quality Standards: Fix for Market Failure or Costly Anachronism?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 725-730.
  9. Murray Fulton & Konstantinos Giannakas, 2004. "Inserting GM Products into the Food Chain: The Market and Welfare Effects of Different Labeling and Regulatory Regimes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 42-60.
  10. Carter, Colin A. & Gruere, Guillaume P., 2003. "International Approaches to the Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 18(2).
  11. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  12. repec:inr:wpaper:155594 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Leland, Hayne E, 1979. "Quacks, Lemons, and Licensing: A Theory of Minimum Quality Standards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1328-46, December.
  14. Dimitri Carolyn, 2003. "Agricultural Marketing Institutions: A Response to Quality Disputes," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-25, September.
  15. Giancarlo Moschini & Harvey Lapan & Andrei Sobolevsky, 2000. "Roundup ready� soybeans and welfare effects in the soybean complex," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 33-55.
  16. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
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