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Public Preferences and Private Choices: Effect of Altruism and Free Riding on Demand for Environmentally Certified Pork

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  • Jayson Lusk

    ()

  • Tomas Nilsson
  • Ken Foster

Abstract

Sales of private goods with affiliated public good attributes have markedly risen in recent years. This fact is difficult to explain within the paradigm of purely self-interested behavior. This paper investigates factors influencing consumer demand for pork products with certifications related to the environment, animal welfare, and antibiotics. Using psychometric scaling techniques, we measure individuals’ degree of altruism and propensity toward free riding. Results of a random parameter logit model applied to choice data obtained from a nationwide survey in the United States indicates that more altruistic individuals are willing to pay more for pork products with public good attributes than less altruistic individuals and free riders. These results indicate that private purchases of goods with public-good attributes are not simply a result of individuals’ perceptions of the ability to mitigate private risks such as food safety, but that individuals are making private choices to affect public outcomes. Results have implications for policy makers weighing the relative costs and benefits of food labeling policies versus bans related to certain livestock production practices. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2007)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 499-521

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:36:y:2007:i:4:p:499-521

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

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Cited by:
  1. Wendy J. Umberger & Dawn D. Thilmany McFadden & Amanda R. Smith, 2009. "Does altruism play a role in determining U.S. consumer preferences and willingness to pay for natural and regionally produced beef?," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 268-285.
  2. Ujiie, Kiyokazu, 2011. "The Effect of Altruism on Consumer Behavior in Japan: an Analysis on Rice Consumption using Scanner Data," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 116094, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Tonsor, Glynn T. & Wolf, Christopher & Olynk, Nicole, 2009. "Consumer voting and demand behavior regarding swine gestation crates," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 492-498, December.
  4. Tonsor, Glynn T. & Olynk, Nicole J. & Wolf, Christopher A., 2008. "Consumer Preferences for Animal Welfare Attributes: Case of Gestation Crates," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6062, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Balcombe, Kelvin & Chalak, Ali & Fraser, Iain, 2009. "Model selection for the mixed logit with Bayesian estimation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 226-237, March.
  6. Doherty, Edel & Campbell, Danny, 2011. "Demand for improved food safety and quality: a cross-regional comparison," 85th Annual Conference, April 18-20, 2011, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 108791, Agricultural Economics Society.
  7. Kehlbacher, A. & Bennett, R. & Balcombe, K., 2012. "Measuring the consumer benefits of improving farm animal welfare to inform welfare labelling," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 627-633.
  8. van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2008. "Environmental regulation of households: An empirical review of economic and psychological factors," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(4), pages 559-574, July.
  9. Langena, Nina & Klink, Jeanette & Hartmann, Monika, 2013. "Individualized or non-individualized IDM: What elicits consumer preferences best?," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150637, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  10. Morten Mørkbak & Jonas Nordström, 2009. "The Impact of Information on Consumer Preferences for Different Animal Food Production Methods," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 313-331, December.
  11. Morkbak, Morten Raun & Jensen, Jorgen Dejgaard, 2012. "Do consumers’ preferences change when on vacation? A willingness to pay study on apples and honey," 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA 123525, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  12. Tonsor, Glynn T. & Wolf, Christopher A., 2011. "On mandatory labeling of animal welfare attributes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 430-437, June.
  13. Jayson Lusk, 2011. "The market for animal welfare," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 561-575, December.
  14. Viegas, Ines & Santos, Jose Manuel Lima & Fontes, Magda Aguiar, 2011. "Joint Production of Safer, Cleaner and Animal Friendlier Beef: Do Consumers Join it Too? - Insights from Focus Groups," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115551, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  15. Moser, Riccarda & Raffaelli, Roberta & Thilmany, Dawn D., 2011. "Consumer Preferences for Fruit and Vegetables with Credence-Based Attributes: A Review," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 14(2).
  16. Grolleau, Gilles & Ibanez, Lisette & Mzoughi, Naoufel, 2009. "Too much of a good thing? Why altruism can harm the environment?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2145-2149, May.

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