The article studies institutional performance and specifically the effectiveness of producer organizations in agriculture in areas with low levels of social capital. It finds within the same region (Sicily) one case supporting an institutionalist reading (linking low performance levels to low levels of social capital), and one success case in which, despite the burden of low social capital, producer organizations united small farmers and developed a unitary brand for their products. The article finds that the difference in institutional outcomes is due to differences between value chains, and specifically due the extent to which the interests and power of wholesalers and producers in such institutions diverge.
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