Product Differentiation and Quality in Food Markets: Industrial Organization Implications

Posted: 19 Oct 2010

See all articles by Tina Saitone

Tina Saitone

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Richard J. Sexton

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Date Written: October 2010

Abstract

This paper summarizes and evaluates recent research on food product quality and differentiation, both key dimensions of modern food markets. We emphasize the implications for modeling of violation of the product homogeneity and perfect information axioms of perfect competition and focus on issues that are important and/or unique to agriculture. We first review modeling approaches for studying competition in differentiated-agricultural-product markets and then address research in the areas of product quality, labeling, and certification. A unique aspect of agricultural industries is the autonomy that they often have to engage in collective action and self-regulation through producer-controlled marketing organizations. We investigate the role of these organizations in influencing and certifying product quality and in creating product differentiation.

Suggested Citation

Saitone, Tina and Sexton, Richard J., Product Differentiation and Quality in Food Markets: Industrial Organization Implications (October 2010). Annual Review of Resource Economics, Vol. 2, Issue 1, pp. 341-368, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1694354 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.resource.050708.144154

Tina Saitone (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Richard J. Sexton

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
327 Voorhies
Davis, CA 95616
United States
530-752-2219 (Phone)

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