Designation of Origin between Market and Regulation: the Case of Pecorino Romano Cheese - Pecorino romano is one of the main Italian Pdo cheese. The reputation on the world market of made in Italy food widely relies on this product. Nowadays, about 95% of total production comes from Sardinia while in Lazio region, the original production area, has almost disappeared. The two production areas are significantly
different with respect to environmental, structural and macroeconomic features. The two areas have been and still are in high competition. Compulsory production rules have been changed twice in the nineties. Some producers do believe that the changes worsened product quality enhancing price competition. For all these circumstances Pecorino romano is an interesting and representative case study. In particular the paper discusses the role of the Pdo on product quality competitiveness and its effectiveness of the guarantee function. Furthermore, implications
of the non correspondence between the denomination and the production area on the reliability of the whole EU denomination system are discussed.