Dynamic Economics and Politics of Food Standards and Global Value Chains
Jo Swinnen, University of Leuven
Tuesday, August 2, 8:30 am in Salons E/F
Agricultural and food markets have been dramatically transformed over the past decades. Value chains are linking producers and consumers both domestically and internationally. This has major implications for access to food and nutrition and the quality and safety of food products on the consumption side and for productivity, incomes and production and process requirements on the production side. Government policy, in particular the setting of food standards, has had a major influence on the on the development of these value chains and their trade, development and food security impacts. The discussion on food standards threatens to undermine new trade agreements, such as TTIP. Yet, there are precedents in history. The mid 19th century was an equally transformative time for food regulations and value chains. This presentation will review historical cases of what caused major changes in food standards and their impact; will explain how equity and efficiency – and therefore economics and politics – are inherently linked in the setting of food standards; will explain why static effects may be very different from dynamic effects, both in politics and economics of food standards; and review the latest evidence on the dynamic impacts of high value food chains on developing countries.
Johan Swinnen is Professor of Economics and Director of the LICOS-Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at the KU Leuven; Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS); a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Food Security and the Environment (FSE) at Stanford University.
He is a Fellow of the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA), a Fellow of the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE), and President of the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE, 2012-15) and is the President of The Beeronomics Society. He was previously Lead Economist at the World Bank (2003-04) and Economic Advisor at the European Commission (1998-2001), and has been advisor to many international organizations and governments. He holds a PhD from Cornell University.
He has published widely on agricultural and food policies, political economy, institutional reform, trade, global value chains, and standards. His publications have appeared in leading academic journals, such as the Journal of Economic Literature, the Review of Economics and Statistics, Science, Nature, The Lancet, and leading field journals. His recent books include “Quality Standards, Value Chains and International Development” (2015); “The Economics of Chocolate” (2015), “Political Power and Economic Policy” (2011), “The Economics of Beer” (2009), “Global Supply Chains, Standards, and the Poor” (CABI), and “From Marx and Mao to the Market”.