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Informational Approaches to Regulation

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Author Info

  • Wesley A. Magat
  • W. Kip Viscusi

    ()
    (Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

How does risk labeling information on hazardous household chemicals and pesticides influence consumer behavior? While many studies speculate on the effects of risk information, Magat and Viscusi draw on a series of extensive surveys to assess the likely response. Their set of original studies of household chemicals, energy audits, and food risk labeling establishes guidelines for the design and evaluation of these informational regulations. Their findings also include new estimates of the valuation of nonfatal health risks, the first estimates in the literature of the role of altruism, and an assessment of the influence of irrational responses to risk. Although economists suggest that giving consumers information about potentially hazardous goods is preferable to direct regulation of product content, implementation of information regulation raises a host of issues that need to be addressed. Magat and Viscusi document the cognitive limitations that consumers have in processing information and break new ground by showing how, given this behavior, the informational regulations should be designed. Case studies assess the degree to which different kinds of consumers notice, remember, and heed printed warnings in a range of wordings and formats. They then examine risk valuation, showing how much consumers are willing to pay for increased product safety under various conditions. A concluding chapter synthesizes the results and discusses their implications for regulatory policy.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The MIT Press in its series MIT Press Books with number 026213277x and published in 1992.

Volume: 1
Edition: 1
ISBN: 0-262-13277-X
Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:026213277x

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu

Related research

Keywords: regulation; consumer behavior; health risks;

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Cited by:
  1. Amnon Levy, 2011. "Physiological, Gastronomic and Budgetary Aspects and the Diets of Perfectly and Imperfectly Lifetime-Rational Consumers," Economics Working Papers wp11-02, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  2. Santiago Guerrero, 2012. "Who is Selling You Chiquilitros of Gasoline? Evidence From a Public Disclosure Policy," Working Papers 2012-04, Banco de México.
  3. Julie A. Caswell & Eliza M. Mojduszka, 1996. "Using Informational Labeling to Influence the Market for Quality in Food Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1248-1253.
  4. Conceição, Junia Rodrigues & Barros, Alexandre Lahóz Mendonça De, 2006. "A Importância Da Certificação E Da Rastreabilidade Para Garantia De Competitividade No Agronegócio: Conceitos E Proposta De Um Modelo Analítico," 44th Congress, July 23-27, 2006, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil 148629, Sociedade Brasileira de Economia, Administracao e Sociologia Rural (SOBER).
  5. David Weil & Archon Fung & Mary Graham & Elena Fagotto, 2006. "The effectiveness of regulatory disclosure policies," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 155-181.
  6. Golan, Elise H. & Kuchler, Fred & Mitchell, Lorraine, 2000. "Economics Of Food Labeling," Agricultural Economics Reports 34069, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  7. Cole, Anne & Harris, Jane, 2005. "Rising interest in credence qualities in agricultural products and the role for government," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 137828, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  8. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2013. "Environment, Health, and Human Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(3), pages 689-730, September.
  9. Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné & Ingrid Peignier & Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin, 2003. "Informational Regulation of Industrial Safety - An Examination of the U.S. "Local Emergency Planning Committees"," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-03, CIRANO.
  10. Anthony Ogus, 1998. "Regulatory Appraisal: A Neglected Opportunity for Law and Economics," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 53-68, July.
  11. Collins, J. Michael & Simon, Kosali I. & Tennyson, Sharon, 2013. "Drug withdrawals and the utilization of therapeutic substitutes: The case of Vioxx," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 148-168.
  12. Christine Jolls & Cass R. Sunstein, 2005. "Debiasing through Law," NBER Working Papers 11738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Tonsor, Glynn T. & Wolf, Christopher A., 2011. "On mandatory labeling of animal welfare attributes," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 430-437, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné, 2000. "Environmental Risk Management and the Business Firm," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-23, CIRANO.

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