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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 Archive with number 36181.

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Date of creation: 08 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:36181
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  1. Li, Yuan & Beghin, John C., 2013. "Protectionism Indices for Non-Tariff Measures: An Application to Maximum Residue Levels," Working Papers 142503, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  2. Ronald Fischer & Pablo Serra, 1998. "Standards and Protection," Documentos de Trabajo 45, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. John C. Beghin & William E. Foster, 1992. "Political Criterion Functions and the Analysis of Wealth Transfers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(3), pages 787-794.
  7. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J., 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48557, World Bank.
  8. Marette, Stephan & Beghin, John C., 2010. "Are Standards Always Protectionist?," Staff General Research Papers 12826, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Katia Berti & Rod Falvey, . "Does Trade Weaken product Quality Standards?," Discussion Papers 11/24, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  12. Beghin, John C. & Kherallah, Mylene, 1994. "Political Institutions and International Patterns of Agricultural Protection," Staff General Research Papers 1602, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  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. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
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