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Quality Measurement and Contract Design: Evidence from the North American Sugar Beet Industry

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  • Melkonian, Tigran A.

Abstract

This paper examines contracts used in the North American sugarbeet industry. Though quite similar in many respects, the contracts we study vary across processing firms in the set of quality measures used to condition contract payments to growers. This is somewhat surprising, given the homogeneous nature of the processors' finished product (refined sugar). It seems unlikely that processors differ significantly in how they value the various attributes of a sugarbeet, and such a difference is perhaps the most natural reason to expect variation in the structure of quality incentives across processors. Previous attempts to explain the observed variation in sugarbeet contracts have focused on differences in organizational form across firms. In this paper, we provide an alternative explanation that relies on variation across production regions in growers' ability to control the relevant measures of sugarbeet quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Melkonian, Tigran A., 2004. "Quality Measurement and Contract Design: Evidence from the North American Sugar Beet Industry," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12350, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12350
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    Cited by:

    1. Yu, Xiaohua & Abler, David G. & Peng, Chao, 2008. "Dancing with the Dragon Heads: Enforcement, Innovations and Efficiency of Contracts between Agricultural Processors and Farmers in China," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6144, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Brent Hueth & Philippe Marcoul & Roger G. Ginder, 2004. "Cooperative Formation and Financial Contracting in Agricultural Markets," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 03-wp349, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    3. Jaenicke, Edward C. & Shields, Martin & Kelsey, Timothy W., 2007. "Food Processors’ Use of Contracts to Purchase Agricultural Inputs: Evidence from a Pennsylvania Survey," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 36(2), October.

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