This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Three Essays on Market and Non-Market Factors Affecting International Seafood Trade




Tran, Nhuong

Type of Degree



Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


This dissertation is comprised of three separate essays investigating market and non-market factors affecting international seafood trade. The first essay analyzes the impact of food safety standards and management systems established by public and private actors in nations of the industrial North on shrimp producers, middlemen traders, processors, and exporters in Vietnam. The shrimp farming industry in Vietnam is organized in the form of buyer-driven global value chains (GVCs). GVCs dynamically develop and transform through time and place to generate multiple governing patterns between successive actors participating in the chains. Food safety institutions, socio-cultural factors as well as environmental resource conditions both create opportunities and constrain economic organization and governance of the chains for responding to international shrimp market requirements. The second essay applies different alternative specifications accounting for zero trade flows to reevaluate the hypothesis that food safety standards act as barriers to seafood imports aggregated at two digit levels. Results show that the view of standards as barriers to trade is robust to the OLS as well as alternative zero-accounting gravity models including the Heckman maximum likelihood and Poisson family regressions. Formal statistical tests do not allow specifying which zero accounting model is the best choice. However, based on the magnitude of estimated coefficients, I contend that the Heckman maximum likelihood estimation provides the most reliable parameter estimates. The third essay examines the impact of strengthening chloramphenicol analytical standards (lowering required analytical limits) on crustacean imports in the EU15, Japan, and the North America. Results of the gravity econometric model estimation using the Heckman selection procedure show that enhancing detection standards of chloramphenicol residues in seafood in developed countries is shown statistically to have negative effects on their bilateral crustacean imports. Aggregated six digit levels, some crustacean products such as frozen shrimps and prawns, and frozen rock lobsters received more negative impacts than other crustacean products. Scale of export is sensitive to the imposition of stricter chloramphenicol analytical standards. Nations which are top crustacean exporters are disciplined more than other exporting countries. Top crustacean exporters in Asia, including China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam experience different impacts, suggesting that the impact of food safety standards on international trade is complex. Developing countries with higher income levels and stronger industry organization are better able to cope with stringent market requirements, strengthen their competitive advantage, and receive lesser negative impacts when food safety standards become stricter.