Ladislau Dowbor – Producers, intermediaries and consumers: the price chain approach – fevereiro – 2014, 15p.
Production chains are becoming more complex, with the different tiers frequently belonging to different corporations, and located in different regions or countries. Between the original producers and the end consumer, there are a growing number of commercial, financial and legal intermediaries who tend to make it more difficult to understand how successive tiers of the production chain are reflected in value added and corresponding prices. This paper suggests that more research be concentrated on the price chain that accompanies the production chain, which would give a clearer picture of where inflation is generated, where major irregularities and oligopoly price fixing may be found, as well as where the procyclical reactions take place, generating instability. Therefore, we shall analyze the concept of the price chain, the dynamics of the production chain control, the power of intermediaries – taking the example of commodity traders – and the role of financial intermediation. The final part of the paper presents the impact on wealth concentration, and the need to improve our understanding of the price formation process, in addition to the traditional measurements of inflation. (L. Dowbor)