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The political ideology of food


  • Lusk, Jayson L.


Using data from a survey of over 700 Americans, we sought to measure and investigate the nature of citizen’s political ideologies in relation to food. Results reveal that a majority of respondents can be classified as “food statists,” desiring more government action in the realm food and agricultural relative to the status quo. People’s ideologies with regard to food were multidimensional, falling along lines related to food health and quality, food safety, and farm subsidies. Respondents were most in favor of additional government action related to food safety. Food ideology was related to conventional measures of political ideology with, for example, more liberal respondents desiring more government involvement in food than more conservative respondents, but the relationship was far from determinative, suggesting food ideology represents a unique construct in its own right.

Suggested Citation

  • Lusk, Jayson L., 2012. "The political ideology of food," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 530-542.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:5:p:530-542
    DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2012.05.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dermot J. Hayes & Jason F. Shogren & Seung Youll Shin & James B. Kliebenstein, 1995. "Valuing Food Safety in Experimental Auction Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(1), pages 40-53.
    2. Jayson L. Lusk & Brian C. Briggeman, 2009. "Food Values," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(1), pages 184-196.
    3. Zeljka Buturovic & Daniel B. Klein, 2010. "Economic Enlightenment in Relation to College-going, Ideology, and Other Variables: A Zogby Survey of Americans," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 7(2), pages 174-196, May.
    4. Ellison Brenna & Lusk Jayson L & Briggeman Brian, 2010. "Other-Regarding Behavior and Taxpayer Preferences for Farm Policy," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-29, October.
    5. Elisabeth Deutskens & Ko de Ruyter & Martin Wetzels & Paul Oosterveld, 2004. "Response Rate and Response Quality of Internet-Based Surveys: An Experimental Study," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 21-36, February.
    6. Gardner, Bruce L, 1987. "Causes of U.S. Farm Commodity Programs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 290-310, April.
    7. Brenna D. Ellison & Jayson L. Lusk & Brian C. Briggeman, 2010. "Taxpayer Beliefs about Farm Income and Preferences for Farm Policy," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 338-354.
    8. Variyam, Jayachandran N. & Jordan, Jeffrey L., 1991. "Economic Perceptions And Agricultural Policy Preferences," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 16(02), December.
    9. Daniel B. Klein & Zeljka Buturovic, 2011. "Economic Enlightenment Revisited: New Results Again Find Little Relationship Between Education and Economic Enlightenment but Vitiate Prior Evidence of the Left Being Worse," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 8(2), pages 157-173, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kraak, Vivica I. & Swinburn, Boyd & Lawrence, Mark & Harrison, Paul, 2014. "A Q methodology study of stakeholders’ views about accountability for promoting healthy food environments in England through the Responsibility Deal Food Network," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 207-218.
    2. Tatyana Deryugina & Barrett Kirwan, 2016. "Does The Samaritan's Dilemma Matter? Evidence From U.S. Agriculture," NBER Working Papers 22845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Moon, Wanki & Saldias, Gabriel Pino, 2013. "Public Preferences about Agricultural Protectionism in the US," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150718, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    Ideology; Food; Politics; Survey;


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