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When are Private Standards more Stringent than Public Standards?

Listed author(s):
  • Vandemoortele, Thijs

Retailers’ private standards are increasingly important in addressing consumer concerns about safety, quality and social and environmental issues. Empirical evidence shows that these private standards are frequently more stringent than their public counterparts. I develop a political economy model that may contribute to explaining this stylized fact. I show that if producers exercise their political power to persuade the government to impose a lower public standard, retailers may apply their market power to install a private standard at a higher level than the public one.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/115544
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Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland with number 115544.

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Date of creation: 2011
Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae11:115544
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  1. Mauro Vigani & Alessandro Olper, 2013. "GM-free private standards, public regulation of GM products and mass media," LICOS Discussion Papers 33113, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
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  5. 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.
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  10. Maertens, Miet & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Trade, Standards, and Poverty: Evidence from Senegal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-178, January.
  11. Johan F. M. Swinnen & Thijs Vandemoortele, 2011. "Trade and the Political Economy of Food Standards," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 259-280, 06.
  12. Crampes, Claude & Hollander, Abraham, 1995. "Duopoly and quality standards," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 71-82, January.
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  14. 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.
  15. Boom, Anette, 1995. "Asymmetric International Minimum Quality Standards and Vertical Differentiation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 101-119, March.
  16. Arora, Seema & Gangopadhyay, Shubhashis, 1995. "Toward a theoretical model of voluntary overcompliance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 289-309, December.
  17. Maxwell, John W & Lyon, Thomas P & Hackett, Steven C, 2000. "Self-Regulation and Social Welfare: The Political Economy of Corporate Environmentalism," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 583-617, October.
  18. Jason A. Winfree & Jill J. McCluskey, 2005. "Collective Reputation and Quality," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 206-213.
  19. Teichmann, Isabel & von Schlippenbach, Vanessa, 2011. "The Strategic Use of Private Quality Standards in Food Supply Chains," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 116079, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  20. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
  21. Richard J. Sexton & Ian Sheldon & Steve McCorriston & Humei Wang, 2007. "Agricultural trade liberalization and economic development: the role of downstream market power," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 36(2), pages 253-270, 03.
  22. Henson, Spencer J. & Hooker, Neal H., 2001. "Private Sector Management Of Food Safety: Public Regulation And The Role Of Private Controls," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 4(01).
  23. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-329, March-Apr.
  24. Golan, Elise H. & Krissoff, Barry & Kuchler, Fred & Calvin, Linda & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Price, Gregory K., 2004. "Traceability In The U.S. Food Supply: Economic Theory And Industry Studies," Agricultural Economics Reports 33939, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  25. Spencer Henson & John Humphrey, 2010. "Understanding the Complexities of Private Standards in Global Agri-Food Chains as They Impact Developing Countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(9), pages 1628-1646.
  26. Fulponi, Linda, 2006. "Private voluntary standards in the food system: The perspective of major food retailers in OECD countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-13, February.
  27. 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.
  28. Maloney, Michael T & McCormick, Robert E, 1982. "A Positive Theory of Environmental Quality Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 99-123, April.
  29. 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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