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Impact of Third-Party Contract Enforcement in Agricultural Markets - A Field Experiment in Vietnam

Asymmetry of information is a fundamental problem in agricultural markets. Production contracts remain incomplete if product quality attributes measured by the buying company remain unobservable for the selling farmer. Opportunistic buyers would report lower than actual output quality, negatively affecting farmers’ compensation given it is directly linked to quality. When farmers factor in the buyer’s opportunistic behavior, underinvestment may occur, negatively affecting farm productivity.

Contract Farming and Smallholder Incentives to Produce High Quality: Experimental evidence from the Vietnamese Dairy Sector

Producer penalties and bonuses can help reduce the incidence of side-selling and better align farmers' incentives with purchasers'. Bonuses can help ensure that farmers take the necessary measurements to produce the quality characteristics often present in contract farming arrangements. A randomized controlled experiment with milk producers in Vietnam showed that the presence of penalties and bonuses drove farmers to higher input use which resulted in higher quality milk.

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