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Consumer Preferences for Animal Welfare Attributes: The Case of Gestation Crates

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  • Tonsor, Glynn T.
  • Olynk, Nicole J.
  • Wolf, Christopher A.

Abstract

Animal welfare concerns are having dramatic impacts on food and livestock markets. Here we examine consumer preferences for pork products with a focus on use of gestation crates. We examine underlying consumer valuations of pork attributes while considering preference heterogeneity as well as voluntary and legislative alternatives in producing gestation crate-free pork. Our results suggest that prohibiting swine producers from using gestation crates fails to improve consumer welfare in the presence of a labeling scheme documenting voluntary disadoption of gestation crates. Consumers are found to implicitly associate animal welfare attributes with smaller farms. Preference heterogeneity drives notably diverse consumer welfare impacts when pork produced with use of gestation crates is no longer available for consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Tonsor, Glynn T. & Olynk, Nicole J. & Wolf, Christopher A., 2009. "Consumer Preferences for Animal Welfare Attributes: The Case of Gestation Crates," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:joaaec:56658
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    Keywords

    animal welfare; consumer welfare; economics of legislation; gestation crates; pork; swine; voluntary labeling; willingness to pay; Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Industrial Organization; Livestock Production/Industries; Q11; Q13; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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