The Role of Empirical Research in the Study of Complex Forms of Governance in Agroindustrial Systems
RESR, Piracicaba-SP, Vol. 50, No. 4, pp. 667-682, 2012
16 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2013
Date Written: December 20, 2012
The growing complexity of supply chains poses new challenges for Agricultural Research Centers and statistical agencies. The aim of this perspective paper is to discuss the role of empirical research in understanding the complex forms of governance in agribusiness. The authors argue that there are three fundamental levels of analysis: (i) the basic structure of the market, (ii) the formal contractual arrangements that govern relations within the agroindustrial system and (iii) the transactional dimensions governed by non-contractual means. The case of the agrochemical industry in Brazil illustrates how traditional analyses that only address market structure are insufficient to fully explain the agricultural sector and its supply chain. The article concludes by suggesting some indicators which could be collected by statistical agencies to improve understanding of the complex relationships among agribusiness segments. In doing so, the paper seeks to minimize costs and to enable a better formulation of public and private policies.
Keywords: complex forms, empirical research, market structure, contracts, nonmeasurable attributes
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