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Market and Welfare Effects of Mandatory Country‐of‐Origin Labeling in the U.S. Specialty Crops Sector: An Application to Fresh Market Apples

Alejandro Plastina, Konstantinos Giannakas () and Daniel Pick

Southern Economic Journal, 2011, vol. 77, issue 4, 1044-1069

Abstract: This study provides a new framework of analysis of the market and welfare effects of mandatory country‐of‐origin labeling (MCOOL) for fruits and vegetables that accounts for heterogeneous consumer preferences, differences in producer agronomic characteristics, and retailer market power. The market and welfare effects of MCOOL are shown to be case‐specific and dependent on the labeling costs at the farm and retail levels, the strength of consumer preference for domestic products, the market power of retailers, the marketing margin along the supply chain, and the relative costs of imported and domestic products. Simulation results for the U.S. market of fresh apples indicate that domestic producers are the most likely beneficiaries of MCOOL, followed by domestic consumers. Being unable to exercise market power on consumers or suppliers of fresh apples, retailers will lose if the implementation of MCOOL entails fixed costs. Imports of fresh apples decline after MCOOL introduction.

Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wly:soecon:v:77:y:2011:i:4:p:1044-1069