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Quality assurance mechanisms in agrifood: The case of the Spanish fresh meat sector

The largest fresh meat brand names in Spain are analyzed here to study how quality is signaled in agribusiness and how the underlying quality -assurance organizations work. Results show, first, that organizational form varies according to the specialization of the brand name. Publicly-controlled brand names are grounded on market contracting with individual producers, providing stronger incentives. In contrast, private brands rely more on hierarchy, taking advantage of its superiority in solving specific coordination problems. Second, the seemingly redundant coexistence of several quality indicators for a given product is explained in efficiency terms. Multiple brands are shown to be complementary, given their specialization in guaranteeing different attributes of the product.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 637.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision: Mar 2002
Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:637
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  1. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  2. repec:oup:qjecon:v:98:y:1983:i:4:p:659-79 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Blois, K J, 1972. "Vertical Quasi-Integration," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 253-72, July.
  4. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
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  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:84:y:1970:i:3:p:488-500 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
  8. Monteverde, Kirk & Teece, David J, 1982. "Appropriable Rents and Quasi-Vertical Integration," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 321-28, October.
  9. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-25, June.
  10. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  11. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-41, August.
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