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Animal Welfare Economics


  • Jayson L. Lusk
  • F. Bailey Norwood


This article highlights some key areas where economics can contribute to the current debate about animal welfare. Production economics reveals that producers will not maximize animal welfare, even if animal well-being is highly correlated with output. Welfare economics raises thorny issues about the double-counting of benefits when humans exhibit altruism towards animals, while public economics uncovers potential market failures and possible solutions. Consumer economics provides a means of determining human and animal benefits from animal well-being policies in dollar terms. Overall, economists have much to contribute to the animal welfare debate and the well-being of humans and animals could be improved with more economic analysis on the effects of private and government actions related to animal welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayson L. Lusk & F. Bailey Norwood, 2011. "Animal Welfare Economics," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 463-483.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:33:y:2011:i:4:p:463-483.

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    Cited by:

    1. Alphonce, Roselyne & Alfnes, Frode & Sharma, Amit, 2014. "Consumer vs. citizen willingness to pay for restaurant food safety," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 160-166.
    2. Arne Henningsen & Tomasz Gerard Czekaj & Björn Forkman & Mogens Lund & Aske Schou Nielsen, 2016. "The relationship between animal welfare and economic performance at farm level: A quantitative study of Danish pig producers," IFRO Working Paper 2016/05, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    3. Harvey, David & Hubbard, Carmen, 2013. "Reconsidering the political economy of farm animal welfare: An anatomy of market failure," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 105-114.
    4. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:2:p:553-578 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Boronyak-Vasco, Louise & Perry, Neil, 2015. "Using tradeable permits to improve efficiency, equity and animal protection in the commercial kangaroo harvest," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 159-167.
    6. Cordts, Anette & Nitzko, Sina & Spiller, Achim, 2014. "Consumer Response to Negative Information on Meat Consumption in Germany," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 0(Special I), pages 1-24, March.
    7. Levan Elbakidze & Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr. & Hao Li & Chris McIntosh, 2014. "Value elicitation for multiple quantities of a quasi-public good using open ended choice experiments and uniform price auctions," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(2), pages 253-265, March.
    8. Pérez, Jose Antonio & Roibás, David & Wall, Alan, 2016. "Animal health indicators and technical efficiency in milk production: A stochastic frontier analysis for Spanish dairy farms," Efficiency Series Papers 2016/05, University of Oviedo, Department of Economics, Oviedo Efficiency Group (OEG).
    9. Marco Costanigro & Oana Deselnicu & Dawn Thilmany McFadden, 2016. "Product differentiation via corporate social responsibility: consumer priorities and the mediating role of food labels," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 33(3), pages 597-609, September.

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