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The Political Economy of Nutrition and Health Standards in Food Markets

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  • Johan F.M. Swinnen
  • Thijs Vandemoortele

Abstract

This paper presents a general political economy model of standards. We use the model to derive political and social optima of nutrition and health standards in food markets, and to identify under which cases “understandardization” or “over-standardization” will result. The paper analyses the impact of trade and development on the political equilibrium as well as the role of the media and consumer perceptions.
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Suggested Citation

  • Johan F.M. Swinnen & Thijs Vandemoortele, 2008. "The Political Economy of Nutrition and Health Standards in Food Markets ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 30(3), pages 460-468.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revage:v:30:y:2008:i:3:p:460-468
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-9353.2008.00420.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anderson, Kym & Damania, Richard & Jackson, Lee Ann, 2004. "Trade Standards and the Political Economy of Genetically Modified Food," CEPR Discussion Papers 4526, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. McCluskey, Jill J. & Grimsrud, Kristine M. & Ouchi, Hiromi & Wahl, Thomas I., 2003. "Consumer Response to Genetically Modified Food Products in Japan," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(02), pages 222-231, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Unnevehr, Laurian J., 2000. "Food safety issues and fresh food product exports from LDCs," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 231-240, September.
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    6. Jill J. McCluskey & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2004. "Political Economy of the Media and Consumer Perceptions of Biotechnology," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1230-1237.
    7. Adam B. Jaffe et al., 1995. "Environmental Regulation and the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing: What Does the Evidence Tell Us?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 132-163, March.
    8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31.
    9. S.S. Vickner, 2004. "Media Coverage of Biotech Foods and Influence on Consumer Choice," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1238-1246.
    10. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    11. 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 1328-1346, December.
    12. Unnevehr, Laurian J., 2000. "Food safety issues and fresh food product exports from LDCs," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 231-240, September.
    13. Fischer, Ronald & Serra, Pablo, 2000. "Standards and protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 377-400, December.
    14. Suwa Eisenmann, Akiko & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "Reciprocity and the Political Economy of Harmonization and Mutual Recognition of Regulatory Measures," CEPR Discussion Papers 3147, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Copeland, Brian R & Taylor, M Scott, 1995. "Trade and Transboundary Pollution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 716-737, September.
    16. Baldwin, Richard, 2000. "Regulatory Protectionism, Developing Nations and a Two-Tier World Trade System," CEPR Discussion Papers 2574, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Wellisch Dietmar, 1995. "Locational Choices of Firms and Decentralized Environmental Policy with Various Instruments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 290-310, May.
    18. Kunce, Mitch & Shogren, Jason F., 2005. "On interjurisdictional competition and environmental federalism," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 212-224, July.
    19. Maertens, Miet & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2006. "Standards as Barriers and Catalysts for Trade and Poverty Reduction," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25772, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    20. Kynda R. Curtis & Jill J. McCluskey & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2008. "Differences in global risk perceptions of biotechnology and the political economy of the media," International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(1/2), pages 77-89.
    21. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Koen Deconinck & Johan Swinnen, 2014. "The Political Economy of Geographical Indications," LICOS Discussion Papers 35814, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    2. 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.
    3. 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..
    4. 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..
    5. Tao Xiang & Jikun Huang & d’Artis Kancs & Scott Rozelle & Jo Swinnen, 2012. "Food Standards and Welfare: General Equilibrium Effects," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 223-244, June.
    6. Thijs Vandemoortele & Scott Rozelle & Johan Swinnen & Tao Xiang, 2012. "Quality and Inclusion of Producers in Value Chains: A Theoretical Note," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 122-136, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Deconinck, K. & Swinnen, J. & Meloni, G., 2018. "The political economy of geographical indications," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277497, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Johan F.M. Swinnen & Scott Rozelle & Tao Xiang & Thijs Vandemoortele, 2008. "A Theory of Standards-Driven Rural Development," LICOS Discussion Papers 19908, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    10. repec:ags:aieabj:276281 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Swinnen Johan & Vandeplas Anneleen, 2012. "Rich Consumers and Poor Producers: Quality and Rent Distribution in Global Value Chains," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-30, January.
    12. 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.
    13. 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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