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Who Do Consumers Trust for Information: The Case of Genetically Modified Foods?

  • Wallace E. Huffman
  • Matthew Rousu
  • Jason F. Shogren
  • Abebayehu Tegene

To be effective, groups that disseminate information need the trust of consumers. When multiple groups provide conflicting information on a new product or process like GM-foods, consumers place different levels of trust in the various sources. We present a model of the contributions of personal and social capital of a consumer, and test a multinominal logit model of relative trust in five different sources of information on genetic modification using a unique data set. Among our findings is that an increase in consumer's education lowers the probability of trusting information from government, private industry/organizations, consumer and environmental groups, or other sources relative to information from an independent, third-party source, and conservative religious affiliation reduces the odds of a consumer trusting private industry/organization and increases the odds of trusting nobody relative to an independent, third-party source.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.0002-9092.2004.00669.x
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Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2004)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 1222-1229

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:86:y:2004:i:5:p:1222-1229
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  1. Huffman, Wallace E, 1977. "Allocative Efficiency: The Role of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 59-79, February.
  2. Kinsey, Jean D. & Wolfson, Paul J. & Katsaras, Nikolaos & Senauer, Benjamin, 2001. "Data Mining: A Segmentation Analysis Of U.S. Grocery Shoppers," Working Papers 14335, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
  3. Hausman, J.A., 1994. "Valuation of New Goods Under Perfect and Imperfect Competition," Working papers 94-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Economics of New Goods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bres96-1, 07.
  5. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
  6. Huffman, Wallace E. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2002. "Public Acceptance of and Benefits from Agricultural Biotechnology: A Key Role for Verifiable Information," Staff General Research Papers 10430, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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