Projects Funded for K. Aleks Schaefer


Seasonal Differentiation and Trade in Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Rachael Goodhue and K. Aleks Schaefer


Specific Objectives of the Project

The project has three specific objectives:
• Develop an analytical model of trade in the market for a perishable commodity where producers are differentiated by their harvest season (market window) to derive testable hypotheses regarding the price, quantity and welfare effects of free trade agreements and of the effects of a change in the market window for one producer.
• Test predictions of the theoretical model in an international market with two producers with differentiated market windows and a third-country consumer: U.S., Chile and South Korea in the tablegrape market. U.S. tablegrapes are produced in California.
• Test predictions of the theoretical model in a domestic market with seasonally differentiated production regions: U.S. fresh strawberries, which are primarily produced in California.

Summary of Results

We have developed a model to explain the impacts of seasonality on production, consumption, prices, and trade flows. The extent of overlap between harvest seasons is a key determinant of the welfare effects of trade. Initial empirical results were weak, and we are pursuing additional data.