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Grading, Minimum Quality Standards, and the Labeling of Genetically Modified Products

  • Lapan, Harvey E.
  • Moschini, GianCarlo

We relate the labeling of genetically modified (GM) products to the theory of grading and minimum quality standards. The model represents three stages in the supply chain, assumes a vertical product differentiation framework, allows for the accidental commingling of non-GM products, and treats regulation as a purity threshold for non-GM products. We find that a non-GM purity level that is too strict leads to the disappearance of the non-GM product, and that some quality standard benefits farmers. Indeed, the standard that is optimal from the perspective of producers is stricter than what is optimal for consumers and for societal welfare.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12553.

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Date of creation: 23 Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Journal of Agricultural Economics, August 2007, vol. 89, pp. 769-783
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12553
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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  1. Maxwell, John W., 1998. "Minimum quality standards as a barrier to innovation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 355-360, March.
  2. Valletti, Tommaso M, 2000. "Minimum Quality Standards under Cournot Competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 235-45, November.
  3. Bullock, David S. & Desquilbet, Marion & Nitsi, Elisavet I., 2000. "The Economics Of Non-Gmo Segregation And Identity Preservation," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21845, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  4. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  5. José Benjamin Falck-Zepeda & Greg Traxler & Robert G. Nelson, 2000. "Surplus Distribution from the Introduction of a Biotechnology Innovation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 360-369.
  6. Harvey E. Lapan & GianCarlo Moschini, 2002. "Innovation and Trade with Endogenous Market Failure: The Case of Genetically Modified Products," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 02-wp302, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  7. repec:inr:wpaper:155594 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Carter, Colin A. & Gruere, Guillaume P., 2003. "International Approaches to the Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 18(2).
  9. 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.
  10. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Dimitri Carolyn, 2003. "Agricultural Marketing Institutions: A Response to Quality Disputes," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-25, September.
  13. 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 1328-46, December.
  14. Giancarlo Moschini & Harvey Lapan & Andrei Sobolevsky, 2000. "Roundup ready� soybeans and welfare effects in the soybean complex," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 33-55.
  15. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
  16. Stivers, Andrew, 2003. "Quality standards with exogenously distributed quality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 131-136, July.
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