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Risk, fear, bird flu and terrorists: A study of risk perceptions and economics

  • Turvey, Calum G.
  • Onyango, Benjamin
  • Cuite, Cara
  • Hallman, William K.
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    This paper examines the relationship between risk perceptions, affect and the economic consequences of a bio-security threat against the U.S. food system. The main argument is that there exists a link between risk perceptions and economic behavior. The paper raises conjectures through a utility-theoretic economic model and examines these through two separate surveys, the first being a hypothetical agroterrorist attack and the second a hypothetical discovery of 'bird flu' in the United States. The results provide strong evidence that risk perception and fear can interact with consumption in an economically significant way.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 1-10

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:1-10
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    1. Arrow, Kenneth J, 1982. "Risk Perception in Psychology and Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(1), pages 1-9, January.
    2. Julie A. Caswell & Eliza M. Mojduszka, 1996. "Using Informational Labeling to Influence the Market for Quality in Food Products," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1248-1253.
    3. Bocker, Andreas & Hanf, Claus-Hennig, 2000. "Confidence lost and -- partially -- regained: consumer response to food scares," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 471-485, December.
    4. S. Brock Blomberg & Gregory D. Hess & Athanasios Orphanides, 2004. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Terrorism," CESifo Working Paper Series 1151, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Gocke, Matthias, 2002. " Various Concepts of Hysteresis Applied in Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 167-88, April.
    6. Runge, C. Ford, 2002. "National Security And Bioterrorism: A U.S. Perspective," Working Papers 14384, University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.
    7. Donald Katzner, 1999. "Hysteresis and the Modeling of Economic Phenomena," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 171-181.
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