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Markets, Contracts, or Integration? The Adoption, Diffusion, and Evolution of Organizational Form

  • Sykuta, Michael E.
  • Klein, Peter G.
  • James, Harvey S., Jr.

The rise of contract farming and vertical integration is one of the most important changes in modern agriculture. Yet the adoption and diffusion of these new forms of organization has varied widely across regions, commodities, or farm types, however. Transaction cost theories and the like are not fully effective at explaining the variation of adoption rates of different organizational forms, in part because of their inherent static nature. In order to explain the adoption, diffusion and evolution of organizational form, a more dynamic framework is required. This paper lays out such a framework for understanding the evolution of organizational practices in U.S. agriculture by drawing on existing theories of economic organization, the diffusion of technological innovation, and organizational complementarities. Using recent trends as stylized facts we argue that the agrifood sector is characterized by strong complementarities among its constituent features and that these complementarities help explain the stylized facts. We also discuss several testable hypotheses concerning changes in organizational form in agriculture.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19390
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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI with number 19390.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19390
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  1. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 2002. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 564-591, June.
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  9. MacDonald, James M. & Perry, Janet E. & Ahearn, Mary Clare & Banker, David E. & Chambers, William & Dimitri, Carolyn & Key, Nigel D. & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Southard, Leland W., 2004. "Contracts, Markets, and Prices: Organizing the Production and Use of Agricultural Commodities," Agricultural Economics Reports 34013, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  10. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1998. "The Nature of the Farm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 343-86, October.
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  12. Martinez, Stephen W., 1999. "Vertical Coordination in the Pork and Broiler Industries: Implications for Pork and Chicken Products," Agricultural Economics Reports 34031, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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  15. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
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