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Does Health Information Matter for Modifying Consumption? A Field Experiment Measuring the Impact of Risk Information on Fish Consumption

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  • Jutta Roosen
  • Stéphan Marette
  • Sandrine Blanchemanche
  • Philippe Verger

Abstract

A field experiment was conducted in France to evaluate the impact of health information on fish consumption. A warning revealed the risks of methyl mercury contamination in fish and gave consumption recommendations. A difference-in-differences estimation shows that this warning led to a statistically significant but relatively weak decrease in fish consumption. Consumption of the most contaminated fish did not decrease despite advice to avoid consumption of these fish. Accompanying questionnaires show that consumers imperfectly recall the fish species quoted in the warning. The results suggest a relatively poor efficacy of a complex health message, despite its use by several national health agencies. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal Review of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 2-20

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Handle: RePEc:oup:revage:v:31:y:2009:i:1:p:2-20

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References

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  1. Jason F. Shogren & John A. Fox & Dermot J. Hayes & Jutta Roosen, 1999. "Observed Choices for Food Safety in Retail, Survey, and Auction Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1192-1199.
  2. Sloan, Frank A. & Smith, V. Kerry & Taylor, Donald Jr., 2002. "Information, addiction, and 'bad choices': lessons from a century of cigarettes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 147-155, October.
  3. Shimshack, Jay P. & Ward, Michael B. & Beatty, Timothy K.M., 2007. "Mercury advisories: Information, education, and fish consumption," MPRA Paper 25995, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Jensen, Helen H. & Kesavan, T. & Johnson, Stanley R., 1992. "Measuring the Impact of Health Awareness on Food Demand," Staff General Research Papers 11239, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Fred Kuchler & Abebayehu Tegene & J. Michael Harris, 2005. "Taxing Snack Foods: Manipulating Diet Quality or Financing Information Programs?," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 4-20.
  6. Jayachandran N. Variyam & John Cawley, 2006. "Nutrition Labels and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 11956, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marette, Stéphan & Roosen, Jutta & Blanchemanche, Sandrine, 2008. "Health information and substitution between fish: Lessons from laboratory and field experiments," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 197-208, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stéphan Marette & Jutta Roosen & Sandrine Blanchemanche, 2008. "Taxes and subsidies to change eating habits when information is not enough: an application to fish consumption," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 119-143, October.
  2. Zhao, Meng & Konishi, Yoshifumi & Glewwe, Paul, 2013. "Does information on health status lead to a healthier lifestyle? Evidence from China on the effect of hypertension diagnosis on food consumption," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 367-385.
  3. Engelberth, Haley M. & Teisl, Mario F. & Noblet, Caroline & Bell, Kathleen P. & Frohmberg, Eric & Butts, Karyn & Smith, Andrew E., 2012. "Econometric Analysis of Maine’s Mercury Advisory," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124955, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Drescher, Larissa S. & Marette, Stephan & Roosen, Jutta, 2011. "Consumer Acceptance of Traffic-light Labelling on Food vs. Financial Products," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114431, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Maynard, Leigh J. & Saghaian, Sayed H. & Nickoloff, Megan, 2007. "Buyer and Seller Response to an Adverse Food Safety Event: The Case of Frozen Salmon in Alberta," Consumer and Market Demand Network Papers 6832, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
  6. Moon, Wanki & Balasubramanian, Siva K. & Rimal, Arbindra, 2011. "Health claims and consumers' behavioral intentions: The case of soy-based food," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 480-489, August.
  7. Marette Stéphan & Roosen Jutta & Blanchemanche Sandrine, 2011. "The Combination of Lab and Field Experiments for Benefit-Cost Analysis," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-36, August.
  8. Øvrum, Arnstein & Alfnes, Frode & Almli, Valérie L. & Rickertsen, Kyrre, 2012. "Health information and diet choices: Results from a cheese experiment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 520-529.

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