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Collective action and allocation of decision rights in pesticide safety risk management: the case of tomato producer organizations in France

Jean-Marie Codron (), Zouhair Bouhsina () and Laure Bonnaud ()
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Zouhair Bouhsina: Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d'Acteurs - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CIHEAM-IAMM - Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes - Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier - CIHEAM - Centre International de Hautes Études Agronomiques Méditerranéennes - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement
Laure Bonnaud: RiTME - Risques, Travail, Marchés, Etat - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

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Abstract: Pesticide safety management at the production/shipping level is a costly transaction between a farmer and a buyer. Within the safety-demanding global market, a frequent solution adopted to comply with end customer requirements is to allocate monitoring and decision rights to the shipper. Our paper aims to explain how and why farmers who are members of Producer Organizations (POs) allocate monitoring and decision rights to their managers to manage pesticide safety risks. It also distinguishes the two types of control rights (over the product and over the production process) which define a safety management strategy. Drawing on the scant empirical literature on the transfer of property rights within incomplete contracts (Arrunada et al, 2001; Hu and Hendrikse, 2009), it tests for the predictions of the theory, putting forward as main independent variables group size, reputation, customer safety demands and asset specificity. To this end, twenty POs accounting for more than 95% of French tomato production with market organization have been surveyed. Our results confirm most of the predictions, namely that the allocation of control rights increases with commercial reputation, customer safety demands and IPM technical assistance (asset specificity). Moreover, we show that the two types of control are substitutes and complementary. On the one hand, POs focus either on product control or process control while on the other hand, both controls are necessary for POs with a good reputation and demanding customers.

Keywords: incomplete contracts; property rights; allocation of property rights; safety; product control; process control; tomato; producer organizations or marketing groups (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-12-12
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02748504
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Published in 7. Journées de Recherches en Sciences Sociales, Société Française d'Economie Rurale (SFER). Paris, FRA.; Center for Organization Studies (CORS). Sao Paulo, BRA.; European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE). INT., Dec 2013, Angers, France. 15 p

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