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Leniency and Loyalty in the Choice of Certifiers: Evidence from the BRC Food Safety Standard

Author

Listed:
  • Talia Bar

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Yuqing Zheng

    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

Standards play a vital role in promoting food safety. Certification bodies audit manufacturing sites to certify them for a standard. Using data from the British Retail Consortium global standards program, we offer a glimpse at the market for and examine manufacturers’ choices of certification bodies. Manufacturers prefer geographically close certifiers and those that assigned a higher share of A grades in the previous year. This behavior provides an incentive for lenient grading. We also find a strong tendency of manufacturers to return to the same certification body that audited their site in the previous year.

Suggested Citation

  • Talia Bar & Yuqing Zheng, 2016. "Leniency and Loyalty in the Choice of Certifiers: Evidence from the BRC Food Safety Standard," Working papers 2016-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2016-22
    Note: Talia Bar is the corresponding author
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kathleen Segerson, 1999. "Mandatory versus voluntary approaches to food safety," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 53-70.
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    3. Jean-Pierre Dubé & Günter J. Hitsch & Peter E. Rossi, 2010. "State dependence and alternative explanations for consumer inertia," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(3), pages 417-445.
    4. Hatanaka, Maki & Bain, Carmen & Busch, Lawrence, 2005. "Third-party certification in the global agrifood system," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 354-369, June.
    5. Andrew Ching & Tülin Erdem & Michael Keane, 2009. "The price consideration model of brand choice," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 393-420, April.
    6. Emmanuel Farhi & Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2013. "Fear of rejection? Tiered certification and transparency," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 44(4), pages 610-631, December.
    7. Henson, Spencer & Caswell, Julie, 1999. "Food safety regulation: an overview of contemporary issues," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 589-603, December.
    8. Fulponi, Linda, 2006. "Private voluntary standards in the food system: The perspective of major food retailers in OECD countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 1-13, February.
    9. David Dranove & Ginger Zhe Jin, 2010. "Quality Disclosure and Certification: Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 935-963, December.
    10. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    11. Gabriele Jahn & Matthias Schramm & Achim Spiller, 2005. "The Reliability of Certification: Quality Labels as a Consumer Policy Tool," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 53-73, December.
    12. Anders, Sven M. & Souza Monteiro, Diogo M. & Rouviere, Elodie, 2007. "Objectiveness in the Market for Third-Party Certification: Does market structure matter?," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7894, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Albano, Gian Luigi & Lizzeri, Alessandro, 2001. "Strategic Certification and Provision of Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 267-283, February.
    14. Talia Bar & Vrinda Kadiyali & Asaf Zussman, 2009. "Grade Information and Grade Inflation: The Cornell Experiment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 93-108, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Certifiers; Certification bodies; food safety; standard; product quality; audit grade; British Retail Consortium;

    JEL classification:

    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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