Christophe Bontemps, Céline Nauges, Vincent Réquillart, and Michel Simioni, “Food Safety Regulation and Firm Productivity:Evidence from the French Food Industry”, TSE Working Paper, n. 12-275, January 2012.
The purpose of this article is to assess whether food safety regulations imposed by the European Union in the 2000s may have induced a slow-down in the productivity of firms in the food processing sector. The impact of regulations on costs and productivity has seldom been studied. This article contributes to the literature by measuring productivity change using a panel of French food processing firms for the years 1996 to 2006. To do so, we develop an original iterative testing procedure based on the comparison of the distribution of efficiency scores of a set of firms. Our results confirm that productivity decreased in two major food processing sectors (poultry and cheese) at the time when safety regulation was reinforced.