Private Regulation and Industrial Organisation: The Network Approach
EUI Working Papers LAW No. 2012/21
41 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2012
Date Written: July 1, 2012
The paper investigates the relation between private transnational regulation through standards and the formation of transnational networks. More particularly, focusing on standards compliance, the analysis is intended to test whether private regulation induces the existence of networks able to: (a) enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of compliance coordination in accordance with a “whole-chain supply approach” to safety regulation; (b) contribute to monitoring along the chain, even when this function is in different ways performed by other players (public authorities, independent certifiers, etc.); (c) possibly and eventually redistribute costs of compliance along the chain. Starting from the observation of contractual practices, mainly within supply chains subject to international certification schemes (for example in the case of food supply chains), different models of networks will be compared depending on: (i) the allocation of monitoring and sanctioning powers (these being assigned to producers, traders or independent actors); (ii) the means of monitoring (peer monitoring v. more formalised monitoring duties); (iii) the types of sanctions (particularly, label/certificate suspension or revocation); (iv) the structure of the network (as based on merely linked contracts or on a mix of contractual and organizational relations).
Keywords: private regulation, third party certification, standard compliance, interfirm networks, contractual governance
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