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Olper A.,University of Milan | Olper A.,Center for Institutions and Economic Performance | Curzi D.,University of Milan | Pacca L.,University of Milan
Economics Letters | Year: 2014

This paper investigates the relationship between the diffusion of EU standards and product quality upgrading using highly disaggregated import data to the EU in the food industry. Results show that, on average, the diffusion of EU voluntary standards boosts the rate of quality upgrading. However, the results are heterogeneous when moving from primary to processed foods, and from ISO to non-ISO standards. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Lefevre M.,Catholic University of Leuven | Lefevre M.,HEC School of Management | Lefevre M.,Center for Institutions and Economic Performance
Agricultural and Resource Economics Review | Year: 2014

Senegalese consumers prefer milk-based dairy products that are local and fresh to ones produced with imported powder. However, prices for fresh-milk-based and powder-based products are not significantly different. I address this puzzle by first confirming the preference using choice-based conjoint data to evaluate whether Senegalese consumers will pay a significant positive premium for fresh local products. I then identify price determinants using a unique dataset of milk product characteristics. The results verify the Senegalese preference for fresh local dairy products and show that consumers' misinformation regarding product composition prevents them from allocating a higher price to local milk-based products.

Swinnen J.,Center for Institutions and Economic Performance
Development Policy Review | Year: 2011

Only a few years ago the widely shared view was that low food prices were a curse to developing countries and the poor. Their dramatic increase in 2006-8 appears to have altered this view fundamentally. High food prices are now judged to have a devastating effect on developing countries and the world's poor - a reversal of opinion that raises questions about the old and the new arguments and the proposed remedies, and also about the causes of this dramatic turnaround in analysis and policy conclusions. This article puts these changes in perspective and discusses their potential implications. © The Author 2011. Development Policy Review © 2011 Overseas Development Institute..

Van Herck K.,Center for Institutions and Economic Performance | Swinnen J.F.M.,Center for Institutions and Economic Performance | Deconinck K.,Center for Institutions and Economic Performance
German Journal of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2012

Like all markets in the former communist countries, the Eastern European beer market has been strongly affected by the economic reforms in the beginning of the 1990s. In the first years after reforms, there was a substantial decline in the production of barley, malt and beer. However, the brewery sector soon attracted interest from foreign investors, who faced problems in sourcing sufficient high quality malt in order to produce high quality beer. Therefore, they reintroduced vertical coordination in the supply chain to obtain malt and barley that consistently met their quality requirements. The associated change in beer quality has been one of the drivers behind the spectacular growth of beer consumption in several Eastern European countries. Most remarkable was the growth in the Russian beer market, where beer consumption more than quadrupled over the course of a decade. In this paper, we describe and analyze the dramatic restructuring of the beer industry and the changes in the industrial organization of its supply chain over the past two decades. In addition, we document how the drastic improvement in the quality of beer has been an important driver behind rapid growth in beer consumption in Russia.

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