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Consumers’ willingness to pay for eco-friendly apples under different labels: Evidences from a lab experiment

  • Marette, Stéphan
  • Messéan, Antoine
  • Millet, Guy

An experiment was conducted in France to evaluate the impact of health and environmental information on consumers’ choices between conventional and organic apples. Results show that additional and precise messages about both pesticides use and pesticides residues significantly impact consumers’ choices between both products. The experiment also studied the effect of a new label signaling apples that only use few pesticides compared to conventional apples. With elicited willingness-to-pay, we show that the introduction of this new label increases the average participants’ surplus whatever the information context for participants, because of a higher quality compared to conventional apples and a lower price compared to organic products. In order to complement this label, a minimum-quality standard imposing the use of few pesticides is socially optimal when initial participants’ knowledge is limited.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.

Volume (Year): 37 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 151-161

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:2:p:151-161
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol

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  1. Douadia Bougherara & Pierre Combris, 2009. "Eco-labelled food products: what are consumers paying for?," Working Papers 26426, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  2. Stéphan Marette, 2007. "Minimum safety standard, consumers’ information and competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 259-285, December.
  3. Jayson Lusk & Ted Schroeder, 2004. "Are choice experiments incentive compatible? A test with quality differentiated beef steaks," Artefactual Field Experiments 00096, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Wansink, Brian & Sonka, Steven T. & Hasler, Clare M., 2004. "Front-label health claims: when less is more," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 659-667, December.
  5. William A. Masters & Diakalia Sanogo, 2002. "Welfare Gains from Quality Certification of Infant Foods: Results from a Market Experiment in Mali," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(4), pages 974-989.
  6. Jayson L. Lusk & Stéphan Marette, 2010. "Welfare Effects of Food Labels and Bans with Alternative Willingness to Pay Measures," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 319-337.
  7. Nimon, W. & Beghin, John C., 2008. "Are Eco-Labels Valuable? Evidence from the Apparel Industry," Staff General Research Papers 12741, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Dan Ariely & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. ""Coherent Arbitrariness": Stable Demand Curves Without Stable Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 73-105, February.
  9. Lusk, Jayson L. & Marette, Stephan, 2010. "Appendix to: Welfare Effects of Food Labels and Bans with Alternative Willingness to Pay Measures," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy Appendices 55428, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  10. Jeffrey R. Blend & Eileen O. van Ravenswaay, 1999. "Measuring Consumer Demand for Ecolabeled Apples," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1072-1077.
  11. Yue, Chengyan & Alfnes, Frode & Jensen, Helen H., 2009. "Discounting Spotted Apples: Investigating Consumersï¾’ Willingness to Accept Cosmetic Damage in an Organic Product," Staff General Research Papers 12693, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  12. Christopher Kanter & Kent D. Messer & Harry M. Kaiser, 2009. "Does Production Labeling Stigmatize Conventional Milk?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1097-1109.
  13. Marette Stéphan & Roosen Jutta & Blanchemanche Sandrine, 2011. "The Combination of Lab and Field Experiments for Benefit-Cost Analysis," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 2(3), pages 1-36, August.
  14. Marette, Stephan & Roosen, Jutta & Blanchemanche, Sandrine & Verger, Philippe, 2008. "The Choice of Fish Species: An Experiment Measuring the Impact of Risk and Benefit Information," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(01), April.
  15. Jutta Roosen & Stephan Marette & Sandrine Blanchemanche, 2010. "Value Elicitation using BDM and a Discrete Choice Mechanism," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 1554-1563.
  16. Matthew Rousu & Wallace E. Huffman & Jason F. Shogren & Abebayehu Tegene, 2007. "Effects And Value Of Verifiable Information In A Controversial Market: Evidence From Lab Auctions Of Genetically Modified Food," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 409-432, 07.
  17. Cathy R. Wessells & Robert J. Johnston & Holger Donath, 1999. "Assessing Consumer Preferences for Ecolabeled Seafood: The Influence of Species, Certifier, and Household Attributes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1084-1089.
  18. Yue, Chengyan & Alfnes, Frode & Jensen, Helen H., 2009. "Discounting Spotted Apples: Investigating Consumers’ Willingness to Accept Cosmetic Damage in an Organic Product," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(01), April.
  19. Lusk, Jayson L. & House, Lisa O. & Valli, Carlotta & Jaeger, Sara R. & Moore, Melissa & Morrow, Bert & Traill, W. Bruce, 2005. "Consumer welfare effects of introducing and labeling genetically modified food," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 382-388, September.
  20. Stephan Marette, 2008. "Standards and labels," Working Papers 22422, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  21. Roosen, Jutta & Bieberstein, Andrea & Marette, Stephan & Blanchemanche, Sandrine & Vandermoere, Frederic, 2011. "The Effect of Information Choice and Discussion on Consumers' Willingness-to-Pay for Nanotechnologies in Food," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(2), August.
  22. Jutta Roosen & Stéphan Marette, 2011. "Making the "right" choice based on experiments: regulatory decisions for food and health," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 38(3), pages 361-381, August.
  23. John C. Bernard & Daria J. Bernard, 2007. "What Is It About Organic Milk? An Experimental Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(3), pages 826-836.
  24. Hans Binswanger, 1980. "Attitudes toward risk: Experimental measurement in rural india," Artefactual Field Experiments 00009, The Field Experiments Website.
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