Trade Effects of Origin Marking - The case of beef traceability in the EU

University essay from Lunds universitet/Nationalekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Since September 1st in 2000 it has been possible for European consumers to trace beef products back to its producers. This so called beef traceability system was introduced after the breakout and spread of the disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Europe in the 1980s and the 1990s. This essay investigates whether there has been any effect of the system on trade within the EU(15) and with the rest of the world. Can origin marking systems be seen as trade impeding standards or will they, on the other hand, increase trade due to increased transparency in the market? A method developed by Truman is used to see whether the share of consumption of domestically produced goods are affected. The main findings are that (1) the origin marking helped restore consumers’ credence in the market, which eventually restored consumption levels after the BSE crisis, and (2) the domestic consumption share was not significantly affected.

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