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The Value of Verifiable Information in a Controversial Market: Evidence from Lab Auctions of Genetically Modified Food

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  • Rousu, Matthew
  • Huffman, Wallace
  • Shogren, Jason F.
  • Tegene, Abebayehu

Abstract

Two interested parties dominate the current debate on genetically modified (GM) foods: environmental groups and agribusiness companies. For the average consumer to arrive at an informed decision on these new foods, they must rely on information from interested parties. Unfortunately, information from interested parties does not provide an accurate picture of the benefits and risks of new products. This paper examines the effects of information on consumers? demand for new food products, GM-foods, in an environment where information from one or more interested parties is provided. We design and conduct laboratory auction experiments using randomly chosen adult consumers from two large metropolitan areas who are grouped into twelve experimental units and subjected to six randomly assigned information treatments. We find that in this environment, verifiable information has a small but positive value to sample consumers, and the projected annual social value to all processed foods consumed is relatively large for this public good. Such a large potential value may make it worthwhile for the United States to establish a new third party institution that would produce and distribute verifiable information on GM food.

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File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p3807-2002-02-25.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 10009.

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Date of creation: 25 Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:10009

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Jason F. Shogren & John A. Fox, 1996. "Consumer Preferences for Fresh Food Items with Multiple Quality Attributes: Evidence from an Experimental Auction of Pork Chops," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 916-923.
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Cited by:
  1. Xue, Hong & Mainville, Denise Y. & You, Wen & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2009. "Nutrition Knowledge, Sensory Characteristics and Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Pasture-Fed Beef," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49277, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  2. Wachenheim, Cheryl J. & Vanwechel, Tamara, 2004. "The Influence Of Environmental-Impact Information On Consumer Willingness To Pay For Products Labeled As Free Of Genetically Modified Ingredients," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 35(02), July.
  3. Rousu, Matthew & Huffman, Wallace & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2002. "Are U.S. Consumers Tolerant of GM Foods?," Staff General Research Papers 10050, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Colson, Gregory & Rousu, Matthew C. & Huffman, Wallace E., 2008. "Consumers' Willingness to Pay for New Genetically Modified Food Products: Evidence from Experimental Auctions of Intragenic and Transgenic Foods," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6407, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Huffman, Wallace & Rousu, Matthew & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2004. "The Effects of Prior Beliefs and Learning on Consumers' Acceptance of Genetically Modified Foods," Staff General Research Papers 12212, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  6. Matthew Rousu & Jay Corrigan, 2008. "Estimating the value consumers derive from product labeling," Framed Field Experiments 00192, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Liu, Pengcheng, 2009. "Consumers’ WTA for GM rice cookie: an experiment study in China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51771, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  8. Huffman, Wallace & Rousu, Matthew & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2003. "Better Dead Than GM-Fed? Information and the Effects of Consumers' Resistance to GM-Foods in High-Income Countries," Staff General Research Papers 10345, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Jay R. Corrigan & Matthew C. Rousu, 2006. "Posted Prices and Bid Affiliation: Evidence from Experimental Auctions," Working Papers 0602, Kenyon College, Department of Economics.
  10. Stefani, Gianluca & Valli, Carlotta, 2004. "Exploring the Impacts of Risk Communication Policies on Welfare: Theoretical Aspects," 84th Seminar, February 8-11, 2004, Zeist, The Netherlands 24989, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  11. Hu, Wuyang & Woods, Timothy A. & Bastin, Sandra & Cox, Linda J. & You, Wen, 2011. "Assessing Consumer Willingness to Pay for Value-Added Blueberry Products Using a Payment Card Survey," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 43(02), May.
  12. Harrison, R. Wes & Han, Jae-Hwan, 2005. "The Effects of Urban Consumer Perceptions on Attitudes for Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 36(02), July.
  13. Huffman, Wallace & Rousu, Matthew & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2002. "Should the United States Regulate Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Modified Foods?," Staff General Research Papers 10047, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  14. Huffman, Wallace E. & Rousu, Matthew C. & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2003. "Consumers' Resistance To Genetically Modified Foods In High Income Countries: The Role Of Information In An Uncertain Environment," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25837, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  15. Ganiere, Pierre & Chern, Wen S. & Hahn, David E. & Chiang, Fu-Sung, 2004. "Consumer Attitudes towards Genetically Modified Foods in Emerging Markets: The Impact of Labeling in Taiwan," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 7(03).

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