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Two Asymmetric and Conflicting Learning Effects of Calorie Posting on Overeating: Laboratory Snack Choice Experiment

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  • Shimokawa, Satoru
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    Abstract

    We develop a new framework to analyze the effect of calorie posting on overconsumption of calories in a fixed-price context (e.g., fixed-price buffets). The framework demonstrates that a desire to get `a good deal’ (transaction utility) and loss aversion can induce asymmetry between two conflicting learning effects of calorie posing: a calorie-decreasing effect of learning that one was underestimating calorie contents (LUE effect) and a calorie-increasing effect of learning that one was overestimating calorie contents (LOE effect). Our laboratory snack choice experiments confirm that the LUE effect dominates the LOE effect under the context of overconsumption, which is consistent with transaction utility theory rather than loss aversion. The findings demonstrate the potential of calorie posting to mitigate overeating.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/149687
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 149687.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:149687

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    Keywords: Calorie posting; Calorie consumption; Learning; Transaction utility; Loss aversion; Laboratory Experiment; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; D81; D91; I12;

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    1. Benjamin Bushong & Lindsay M. King & Colin F. Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2010. "Pavlovian Processes in Consumer Choice: The Physical Presence of a Good Increases Willingness-to-Pay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1556-71, September.
    2. Dave, Dhaval & Saffer, Henry, 2008. "Alcohol demand and risk preference," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 810-831, December.
    3. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-71, March.
    4. Jessica Wisdom & Julie S. Downs & George Loewenstein, 2010. "Promoting Healthy Choices: Information versus Convenience," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 164-78, April.
    5. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2008. "Predicting health behaviors with an experimental measure of risk preference," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1260-1274, September.
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