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Fair Trade: A 'Third Generation' Welfare Mechanism to Make Globalisation Sustainable


  • Fabrizio Adriani

    () (University of Rome II - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS))

  • Leonardo Becchetti

    () (University of Rome II - Faculty of Economics)


Globalisation of product and labour markets has dramatically evidenced the market failure generated by the monopsonistic/oligopsonistic power of exporters dealing with unskilled workers (subcontractors). The absence of a global benevolent planner and unequal representation mechanisms in international institutions prevent the reduction of imbalances in the bargaining power between employers and unskilled workers. In a model of North-South trade we suggest that, under the existence of a share of altruistic consumers in the North, the effects of market imperfections and the absence of a global benevolent planner may be partially alleviated by a bottom-up welfare approach directly promoted by consumers of the final product. Our results also show that ethical concerns of consumers in the North might end up with reducing the welfare of workers in the South unless ethical concerned producers enter the market.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabrizio Adriani & Leonardo Becchetti, 2004. "Fair Trade: A 'Third Generation' Welfare Mechanism to Make Globalisation Sustainable," CEIS Research Paper 62, Tor Vergata University, CEIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:62

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:wsi:wschap:9789813207615_0017 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. A. Arrighetti, 2007. "Fair trade, premio di prezzo e fallimenti del mercato," Economics Department Working Papers 2007-EP06, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    3. Becchetti, Leonardo & Federico, Giorgio & Solferino, Nazaria, 2005. "The game of social responsibility: pioneers, imitators and social welfare," AICCON Working Papers 15-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    4. Becchetti Leonardo & Giorgio Federico & Solferino Nazaria, 2011. "What to do in globalised economies if global governance is missing? The vicarious role of competition in social responsibility," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 58(2), pages 185-211, June.
    5. Alessandro Arrighetti, 2009. "Market Imperfections and Fair Trade," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.
    6. Becchetti, Leonardo & Giallonardo, Luisa & Tessitore, Maria Elisabetta, 2005. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Profit Maximizing Behaviour," AICCON Working Papers 21-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    7. Suphanit Piyapromdee & Russell Hillberry & Donald MacLaren, 2014. "‘Fair trade’ coffee and the mitigation of local oligopsony power," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 41(4), pages 537-559.
    8. Rotaris Lucia & Danielis Romeo, 2011. "Willingness to Pay for Fair Trade Coffee: A Conjoint Analysis Experiment with Italian Consumers," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-22, June.
    9. Simone D'Alessandro & Domenico Fanelli, 2015. "The Role of Income Distribution in the Diffusion of Corporate Social Responsibility," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 187-212, May.
    10. Alexander Kadow, 2011. "The Fair Trade movement:an economic perspective," Working Papers 2011_05, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    11. Sylvaine Poret & Claire Chambolle, 2007. "Fair Trade: In or Out the Market?," Working Papers hal-00243062, HAL.
    12. Martin Richardson & Frank Stähler, 2017. "Fair Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Dimensions of Trade Policy, chapter 17, pages 359-388 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
      • Martin Richardson & Frank Stähler, 2014. "Fair Trade," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 90(291), pages 447-461, December.
    13. Andreas Graichen, 2008. "Fairtrade Labelling in a Bertrand Competition Model with Monopsony Power," Working Papers 050, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    14. Pierre Kohler, 2006. "The Economics of Fair Trade: For Whose Benefit? An Investigation into the Limits of Fair Trade as a Development Tool and the Risk of Clean-Washing," IHEID Working Papers 06-2007, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Oct 2006.
    15. Leonardo Becchetti & Furio Camillo Rosati, 2005. "The demand for socially responsible products: empirical evidence from a pilot study on fair trade consumers," Working Papers 04, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    16. Becchetti, Leonardo & Solferino, Nazaria, 2005. "The dynamics of ethical product differentiation and the habit formation of socially responsible consumers," AICCON Working Papers 8-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    17. Leonardo Becchetti & Benjamin Huybrechts, 2008. "The Dynamics of Fair Trade as a Mixed-form Market," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 733-750, September.

    More about this item


    monopsony; social responsibility; fairness;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship

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