Governance Structure, Perception and Innovation in Credence Food Transactions: The Role of Community Networks

Stefano Pascucci


In this paper we use a combination of behavioral and new institutional economic perspectives to look at the transactions of “sustainable

‐oriented” foods (e.g. organic food, fair trade, etc.) which often assume the characteristic of credence goods. When credence attributes are involved in the transaction (e.g. safety, fairness, etc.) information asymmetry and uncertainty tend to reduce the likelihood of different parties to enter in the transaction. Because spot markets are unlikely to be used in this type of transactions, typical solutions are the use of hybrids, vertical integration and public monitoring (Vetter and Karantininis, 2002; Ménard and Valceschini, 2005). Moreover both consumers and producers (e.g. farmers) look at these products from a more utilitarian (cold) then a hedonic (hot) perspective. In this paper we address this issue by analyzing the effect of a “new” governance structure (GS) which is emerging in credence food transactions both at local and global level.

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ISSN 2194-511X


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