Organizational Issues in the Agri-Food Sector: Toward a Comparative Approach
17 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2004
Date Written: January 2004
International comparisons are increasingly popular in empirical studies of economic organization, financial-market performance, and political economy. Besides providing a broad set of firms and industries to compare, these studies highlight the interaction between the institutional environment - the "rules of the game" such as property rights, the legal system, the political process, and social norms - and the organizational arrangements trading partners design to govern their relationships. This paper outlines a research program comparing the economic organization of agriculture in the U.S. and European Union (E.U.). While both have highly developed agricultural sectors, there is substantial variation in organizational arrangements between and within the two. History and path dependence explain some of this variety, but other local conditions are important as well. For instance, European farms tend to be smaller than U.S. farms and more tightly interwoven with cities and tourist areas, so European agriculture is more closely tied with local economic, demographic, and cultural issues.
Keywords: organizational economics, comparative analysis, agriculture
JEL Classification: D23, L1, L2, Q13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation