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Are food safety standards different from other food standards? A political economy perspective


  • Johan F.M. Swinnen
  • Thijs Vandemoortele


This paper uses a political economy model which integrates risk to analyse whether the nature of public food standards [food safety standards, food quality standards, and social and environmental standards] affects the politically optimal level of the standard and the likelihood of trade conflicts. In general, public food safety standards are set at higher levels because stronger consumption effects translate into larger political incentives for governments. The relationship between food standards and protectionism is also affected by the nature of the standards. Oxford University Press and Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics 2009; all rights reserved. For permissions, please email, Oxford University Press.

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  • Johan F.M. Swinnen & Thijs Vandemoortele, 2009. "Are food safety standards different from other food standards? A political economy perspective," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 36(4), pages 507-523, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:erevae:v:36:y:2009:i:4:p:507-523

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. R. Edwards & A. Parikh, 1976. "A Stochastic Policy Simulation of the World Coffee Economy," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 58(2), pages 152-160.
    2. Kawai, Masahiro, 1983. "Price Volatility of Storable Commodities under Rational Expectations in Spot and Futures Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(2), pages 435-459, June.
    3. Bray, Margaret M, 1981. "Futures Trading, Rational Expectations, and the Efficient Markets Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 575-596, May.
    4. Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1983. "The Determination of Spot and Futures Prices with Storable Commodities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1363-1387, September.
    5. Danthine, Jean-Pierre, 1978. "Information, futures prices, and stabilizing speculation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 79-98, February.
    6. Alan H. Gelb, 1977. "Optimal Control and Stabilization Policy: An Application to the Coffee Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 95-109.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thijs Vandemoortele & Koen Deconinck, 2014. "When Are Private Standards More Stringent than Public Standards?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(1), pages 154-171.
    2. John C. Beghin & Miet Maertens & Johan Swinnen, 2017. "Nontariff Measures and Standards in Trade and Global Value Chains," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Nontariff Measures and International Trade, chapter 2, pages 13-38 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Yuan Li & Bo Xiong & John C Beghin, 2017. "The Political Economy of Food Standard Determination: International Evidence from Maximum Residue Limits," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Nontariff Measures and International Trade, chapter 14, pages 239-267 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Meloni, Giulia & Swinnen, Johan, 2013. "The Political Economy of European Wine Regulations," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 244-284, December.
    5. Li, Yuan, 2013. "The trade effects, protectionism, and political economy of non-tariff measures," ISU General Staff Papers 201301010800003995, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Beverelli, Cosimo & Boffa, Mauro & Keck, Alexander, 2014. "Trade policy substitution: Theory and evidence from Specific Trade Concerns," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2014-18, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    7. Subervie, Julie & Vagneron, Isabelle, 2012. "Can Fresh Produce Farmers Benefit from Global Gap Certification? The case of lychee producers in Madagascar," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126704, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Johan F.M.Swinnen & Thijs Vandemoortele, 2011. "On Butterflies and Frankenstein: A Dynamic Theory of Regulation," LICOS Discussion Papers 27611, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.

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