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Essays on the Economics of the “Buy Local” Trend and Excess Information Provision
This dissertation focuses on two important trends in the agri-food marketing system: the ‘Buy Local’ trend and the provision of excess information on food labels. The first essay analyzes the economics of the ‘Buy Local’ trend. Local food products have become particularly popular in recent years due to a perceived freshness and superior quality of these products and the trend’s potential to support the local community. This essay develops a novel framework of heterogeneous consumers and producers to analyze the impacts of the trend on prices and quantities in the locality and the welfare of the interest groups involved. Analytical results show that the market and welfare impacts of the ‘Buy Local’ trend depend on the size of the locality and whether the locality is an exporter or importer of the products in question. For instance, while the trend benefits both consumers and producers of large exporting and importing localities, it leaves producers of small exporting localities unaffected. The presence of the trend in large localities affects also outside consumers and producers with the impact on their welfare depending on whether the large locality is an importer or an exporter of the goods in question. The second essay identifies the causes and consequences of excess information on food product labeling. In particular, this essay develops novel game-theoretic models of heterogeneous firms and consumers in vertically differentiated product markets with asymmetric information to analyze the economic causes and market and welfare consequences of excess information in food labeling. Analytical results indicate that the firm incentives to adopt the excess information strategy, the Nash equilibrium configuration of firms adopting the strategy, and the market and welfare impacts of excess information are case-specific and dependent on the consumer reaction to excess information, firms’ conjectures about this reaction, the quality of the firms’ products and degree of product differentiation between the brand producing firms, and whether the market is covered or not.
Agricultural economics|Economic theory
Ray, Susweta, "Essays on the Economics of the “Buy Local” Trend and Excess Information Provision" (2021). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI28865345.