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Focussing on Consumer Attention: Price-Quality Relationships and Reputation Indicators

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  • Schamel, Guenter
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    Abstract

    In Germany, the focus of agricultural policy is now "the consumer". In the aftermath of the BSE crisis, farmers are encouraged to produce higher quality "ecological" food for which consumers are willing to pay more. Food is an experience good and quality signals are becoming a more important determinant of the prices received. However, given consumers' cognitive limitations, all signals can not receive equal attention. We argue that consumer attention to product quality signals increases with its producer's quality performance, and given attention spillovers (collective reputation), with the expertise of associated producers. Over time, collective reputations should have an effect on price when attention (or quality performance) is low, but should lose their impact as attention increases. We illustrate our consumer attention argument with an empirical application of wine producers and regions and draw some conclusions for the new consumer oriented agri-food policy in Germany.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain with number 24933.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae02:24933

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    Related research

    Keywords: food and beverages; consumer economics; regional and producer reputation; Consumer/Household Economics; L66; D83; Q18;

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    1. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 1997. "The Use of Quality and Reputation Indicators by Consumers: The Case of Bordeaux Wine," MPRA Paper 9283, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
    3. Oczkowski, Edward, 2001. "Hedonic Wine Price Functions and Measurement Error," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(239), pages 374-82, December.
    4. Shapiro, Carl, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-79, November.
    5. Caves, Richard E. & Greene, David P., 1996. "Brands' quality levels, prices, and advertising outlays: empirical evidence on signals and information costs," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 29-52.
    6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    7. Schamel, Guenter & Anderson, Kym, 2001. "Wine Quality and Regional Reputation: Hedonic Prices for Australia and New Zealand," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125877, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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