The economics of geographical indications


Bramley, C, Bienabe, E and Kirsten, JF (2009), The economics of geographical indications: Towards a conceptual framework for geographical indication research in developing countries. In: WIPO (ed). The economics of intellectual property: Suggestions for further research in developing countries and countries with economies in transition. WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation), Geneva.




Over the past two decades, agrifood systems have experienced a significant move towards market differentiation and product proliferation in many parts of the world. This product proliferation and differentiation is associated with what Allaire (2003) described as “the immaterialization of food and the institutionalization of quality”, which is translating into an increasing complexity of quality and new quality conventions. These institutions go beyond the neo-classical model of market pricing and quality signaling through price mechanisms, to instances where institutions that define and enforce quality standards and norms become key to the performance of market mechanisms. As stated by Sauvée and Valceschini (2003): “In the current competitive universe, the definition of quality and the information on qualities are from now on at the heart of the competitive strategies of economic actors”.

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