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

Listed author(s):
  • Melkonian, Tigran A.

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.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers Archive with number 12350.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2004
Publication status: Published in Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics 2004, vol. 52, pp. 165-181
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12350
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Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070

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