Can/Should/Will A Niche Become the Norm? Organic Agriculture's Short Past and Long Future
Steven C. Blank
Gary D. Thompson
A theory is proposed that explains the evolution of a market based on a quality variant as it goes from being a niche to the market norm. Organic commodities are described as such a quality variant and used to focus on the economic and policy issues that arise during a market's evolution. It is shown how organic products in general can become the norm in many American commodity markets. However, there is disagreement over whether it should and much uncertainty about whether it will. The current status of two organic markets is discussed to illustrate empirical issues. (JEL "Q130, Q110", "Q100") Copyright 2004 Western Economic Association International.
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