Publications

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  • Traceability in the U.S. Food Supply: Economic Theory and Industry Studies

    AER-830, March 18, 2004

    This investigation into the traceability baseline in the United States finds that private sector food firms have developed a substantial capacity to trace.

  • Food Safety and Trade: Regulations, Risks, and Reconciliation

    Amber Waves, November 01, 2003

    Global food trade is expanding, providing consumers with access to a wider year-round variety of foods at lower prices. Trade expansion, however, has brought into sharper focus the divergence among countries’ food safety regulations and standards.

  • Economics of Food Labeling

    AER-793, January 25, 2001

    Federal intervention in food labeling is often proposed with the aim of achieving a social goal such as improving human health and safety, mitigating environmental hazards, averting international trade disputes, or supporting domestic agricultural and food manufacturing industries. Economic theory suggests, however, that mandatory food-labeling requirements are best suited to alleviating problems of asymmetric information and are rarely effective in redressing environmental or other spillovers associated with food production and consumption. Theory also suggests that the appropriate role for government in labeling depends on the type of information involved and the level and distribution of the costs and benefits of providing that information. This report traces the economic theory behind food labeling and presents three case studies in which the government has intervened in labeling and two examples in which government intervention has been proposed.

  • Local Bank Office Ownership, Deposit Control, Market Structure, and Economic Growth

    TB-1886, June 12, 2000

    The restructuring of commercial banking has heightened interest in its economic consequences both for the economy as a whole and for those most likely to bear adverse consequences: small businesses, small banks, and rural areas. Most previous research on bank restructuring focuses on changes in bank behavior. In contrast, this paper focuses on the empirical association between local economic performance and changes in local bank market regulation and structure. Findings suggest that mergers or acquisitions of local banks by nonlocal banks need not impair local economic growth, and may even have beneficial effects in rural markets, with the possible exception of farm-dependent areas. These findings are derived from empirical models that relate both shortrun and longrun growth in real per-capita personal income to geographic restrictions on bank activity, local bank (deposit) market concentration, local or nonlocal ownership of local bank offices, and local or nonlocal control of local bank deposits.