About this book
Some books get written, others write themselves. This book is the latter type. I have devoted myselfto studying the economic organization of industries related to food and agriculture for almost twenty-five years. It has been my good fortune to work at places that tolerated my gadfly approach to research. So long as I produced a few publications each year and wooed a few graduate students to share those interests, I was free to pursue an array of topics: why firms diversifY, the competitive role of advertising, strategies for selling in overseas markets, measuring market power, and many others. Although firmly anchored in the eclectic analytical framework of industrial economics and focused on the food system, I traversed a wide field at will. Some years ago, I had pretty much convinced myself that naked price fixing was not a high priority for scholarship in these industries. True, collusion was rife in a few food industries, such as bid-rigging among suppliers of fluid milk to school districts in isolated rural districts. Ripping off milk money from school children is reprehensible enough, but the size of the economic losses from localized price fixing paled besides other sources of imperfect competition.
business competition economics industrial economics organization organizations strategy