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The Political Economy Of Food Standard Determination: International Evidence From Maximum Residue Limits

  • Li, Yuan
  • Xiong, Bo
  • Beghin, John C.

Food safety standards have proliferated as multilateral and bilateral trade agreements constrain traditional barriers to agricultural trade. Stringent food standards can be driven by rising consumer and public concern about food safety and other social objectives, or by the lobbying efforts from domestic industries in agriculture. We investigate the economic and political determinants of the maximum residue limits (MRLs) on pesticides and veterinary drugs. Using a political economy framework and econometric investigation, we find that nations with higher income and larger population adopt stricter MRLs. We also find that countries set more stringent MRLs in their more competitive sectors. Moreover, we show that MRLs and import tariffs are policy substitutes for policy makers. Finally, we find that countries with higher regulatory quality set tougher food standards.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 36181.

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Date of creation: 08 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:36181
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
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Gardner, Bruce L, 1987. "Causes of U.S. Farm Commodity Programs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 290-310, April.
  2. Stéphan Marette & John Beghin, 2010. "Are Standards Always Protectionist?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 179-192, 02.
  3. Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611.
  4. Beghin, John C. & Foster, William E., 1992. "Political Criterion Functions and the Analysis of Wealth Transfers," Staff General Research Papers 1568, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Beghin, John C & Kherallah, Mylene, 1994. "Political Institutions and International Patterns of Agricultural Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 482-89, August.
  6. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  7. Ronald Fischer & Pablo Serra, 1998. "Standards and Protection," Documentos de Trabajo 45, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  8. Alessandro Olper & Jan Falkowski & Johan Swinnen, 2009. "Political Reforms and Public Policies: Evidence from Agricultural Protection," LICOS Discussion Papers 25109, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  9. Li, Yuan & Beghin, John C., 2012. "Protectionism Indices for Non-Tariff Measures: An Application to Maximum Residue Levels," Staff General Research Papers 35276, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Cropper, Maureen L. & William N. Evans & Stephen J. Berard & Maria M. Ducla-Soares & Paul R. Portney, 1992. "The Determinants of Pesticide Regulation: A Statistical Analysis of EPA Decision Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 175-97, February.
  13. De Gorter, Harry & Swinnen, Johan, 2002. "Political economy of agricultural policy," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 36, pages 1893-1943 Elsevier.
  14. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
  15. Katia Berti & Rod Falvey, . "Does Trade Weaken product Quality Standards?," Discussion Papers 11/24, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  16. Alessandro Olper, 2001. "Determinants of Agricultural Protection: The Role of Democracy and Institutional Setting Alessandro Olper," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 75-92.
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