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Consumer Attitudes toward Farm-Animal Welfare: The Case of Laying Hens


  • Heng, Yan
  • Hanawa Peterson, Hikaru
  • Li, Xianghong


Concerns over laying hens’ welfare have led to many different labels for eggs and changes to state regulations. Consumer attitudes toward farm-animal welfare were examined using a national survey in the context of preferences for eggs differentiated by layer management practices. Most respondents perceived caged housing and other conventional management practices as reducing hens’ welfare and were willing to pay a premium for eggs produced in cage-free and other nonconventional production systems. Although participants responded to information about environmental consequences of management practices, they placed more weight on animal welfare issues than environmental issues in their egg-purchase decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Heng, Yan & Hanawa Peterson, Hikaru & Li, Xianghong, 2013. "Consumer Attitudes toward Farm-Animal Welfare: The Case of Laying Hens," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 38(3), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:165936

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allender, William J. & Richards, Timothy J., 2010. "Consumer Impact of Animal Welfare Regulation in the California Poultry Industry," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 35(3), December.
    2. Sumner, Daniel A. & Matthews, William A. & Thurman, Walter N. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Gow, Harnish & Norwood, Bailey, 2010. "Economic and Market Issues on the Sustainability of Egg Production in the United States: Analysis of Alternative Production Systems," Staff General Research Papers Archive 31542, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. André M. Asselin, 2005. "Eggcentric Behavior—Consumer Characteristics That Demonstrate Greater Willingness to Pay for Functionality," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1339-1344.
    4. Laura Mørch Andersen, 2011. "Animal Welfare and Eggs – Cheap Talk or Money on the Counter?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 565-584, September.
    5. David Revelt & Kenneth Train, 1998. "Mixed Logit With Repeated Choices: Households' Choices Of Appliance Efficiency Level," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 647-657, November.
    6. Chang, Jae Bong & Lusk, Jayson L. & Norwood, F. Bailey, 2010. "The Price of Happy Hens: A Hedonic Analysis of Retail Egg Prices," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 35(3), December.
    7. Sumner, Daniel A. & Matthews, William A. & Mench, Joy A. & Rosen-Molina, J. Thomas, 2010. "The Economics of Regulations on Hen Housing in California," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 429-438, August.
    8. Norwood, F. Bailey & Lusk, Jayson L., 2011. "A calibrated auction-conjoint valuation method: Valuing pork and eggs produced under differing animal welfare conditions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 80-94, July.
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    1. repec:spr:agrhuv:v:34:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10460-017-9777-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Heng, Yan & Peterson, Hikaru, 2014. "Estimating Demand for Differentiated Eggs Using Scanner Data," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170457, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Francesca Gerini & Frode Alfnes & Alexander Schjøll, 2016. "Organic- and Animal Welfare-labelled Eggs: Competing for the Same Consumers?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 471-490, June.
    4. Spiller, Achim & von Meyer-Höfer, Marie & Sonntag, Winnie, 2016. "Gibt es eine Zukunft für die moderne konventionelle Tierhaltung in Nordwesteuropa?," DARE Discussion Papers 1608, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    5. Malone, Trey & Lusk, Jayson L., 2016. "Putting the Chicken Before the Egg Price: An Ex Post Analysis of California's Battery Cage Ban," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(3), September.
    6. Heng, Yan & Peterson, Hikaru Hanawa & Li, Xianghong, 2016. "Consumer Responses to Multiple and Superfluous Labels in the Case of Eggs," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 47(2), July.


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