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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics was founded in 1930 from a grant made by the Bancitaly Corporation to the University of California in tribute to its organizer and past president, Amadeo Peter Giannini of San Francisco. Members and associate members of the Giannini Foundation are University of California faculty and Cooperative Extension specialists in agricultural and resource economics on the Berkeley, Davis and Riverside campuses. The broad mission of the Foundation is to promote and support research and outreach activites in agricultural economics and rural development relevant to California.

Cover page of Structure and Power in Multilateral Negotiations: An Application to French Water Policy

Structure and Power in Multilateral Negotiations: An Application to French Water Policy


Stakeholder negotiation is an increasingly important policymaking tool. However, relatively little is understood about the relationship between the structure of the negotiating process and the effectiveness with which stakeholders can pursue their individual interests. We apply the Rausser-Simon multilateral bargaining model to a specific negotiation process involving water storage capacity and use in the upper Adour Basin in southwestern France. We focus on a coalition of three stakeholder groups with aligned but distinct interests. In addition to the standard indices of bargaining power-the distribution of political weights ("access") and players' utilities if an agreement is not reached, our analysis identifi es other less obvious sources of power. First, a coalition member may benefit when his access is reduced if the redistribution increases the access of another coalition member who has a more favorable "strategic location." Second, the interests of the coalition as a whole will usually, but not always, be advanced if its members cede access to a "spokesman" representing their common interests. However, some members may be adversely affected. Third, restricting the extent to which coalition members can make proposals that further their own individual interests at the expense of other coalition members will usually, but not always, harm the coalition as a whole.

Cover page of Economic Consequences of Mandated Grading and Food Safety Assurance: Ex Ante Analysis of the Federal Marketing Order

Economic Consequences of Mandated Grading and Food Safety Assurance: Ex Ante Analysis of the Federal Marketing Order


The U.S. pistachio industry, located almost exclusively in California, has grown substantially over the past thirty years and now occupies an important and growing share of the world market. In recent years, a group of growers led an initiative to establish a federal marketing order, which will work to assure consistency in the quality of California pistachios and thereby increase consumer demand and confidence in the product and enhance producer returns. The marketing order, scheduled to take force in August 2005, will establish a maximum aflatoxin tolerance level, maximum limits for defects, a minimum size requirement, and mandatory inspection and certification. The intention is to provide some quality assurance to buyers so as to offset the negative consequences of concerns over the potential for a food scare affecting pistachios, as well as to reduce the odds of an aflatoxin event and a food scare affecting pistachios, and to mitigate the consequences if an event should occur.

This monograph reports the results of an ex ante assessment of the likely costs and benefits of the marketing order program. In order to assess the costs and benefits accruing to the various groups, we developed a stochastic simulation model of supply and demand for California pistachios, designed to allow us to represent the introduction of the federal marketing order for California pistachios. The study revealed that the measured benefits to producers, the nation, or the world always well exceeded the corresponding measure of costs, typically by many times. The benefit-cost ratios were generally greater than 3:1 and often greater than 6:1, which means there is substantial leeway to accommodate potential errors in assumptions and yet have favorable findings. In present value terms, the benefits to producers were estimated in the baseline scenario at $75.3 million. Sixty percent of the overall benefits, $115.9 million, would accrue to domestic consumers. These are significant values, and are large relative to the cost of compliance with the program, which is a very small amount—about half of 1 percent of the current value of domestic sales.