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12 - Power in the Food Value Chain

Theory and Metrics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 May 2022

Ioannis Lianos
Affiliation:
University College London
Alexey Ivanov
Affiliation:
Skolkovo-HSE Institute for Law and Development
Dennis Davis
Affiliation:
University of Cape Town School of Law
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Summary

Chapter 12 introduces a new economic framework to analyse power in the food value chain. Spurred on by the increased interest of policy makers and antitrust authorities over the last decade, academic scholarship has made progress in analysing the origins and consequences of different dimensions of power across the value chain: buyer power, bargaining power, economic dependence. This Chapter summarises the key concepts used to analyse and measure power in the food value chain and explores the different theories of harm that have been developed and occasionally tested in recent cases. Far from representing just a ‘mirror image’ of the exercise of seller power, the analysis of buyer power may at times require a different set of analytical tools and a more detailed, case-by-case understanding of its specific origins and effects. From then on, the authors move to suggesting a broader theoretical framework that would encompass all different dimensions of power in the value chain, under the rubric of vertical power. After defining the theoretical contours of the concept, the authors offer some metrics that enable an empirical verification of the existence and exercise of vertical power.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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