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Carbon Labeling for Consumer Food Goods

Author

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  • Shewmake, Sharon
  • Okrent, Abigail M.
  • Thabrew, Lanka
  • Vandenbergh, Michael

Abstract

We construct a model to predict how consumers will respond to better information about the carbon content of 42 foods and a nonfood composite as well as product categories through a label, and provide guidance as to what kinds of goods would provide the highest CO¬2eq emission reductions through a labeling scheme. Our model assumes that consumers value their individual carbon footprint, allowing us to utilize estimates of own- and cross-price elasticities of demand from the literature on demand analysis. We make three different assumptions about how consumers currently value their carbon footprint and find that when a label informs consumers, their baseline perception matters. We also find that carbon labels on alcohol and meat would achieve the largest decreases in carbon emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Shewmake, Sharon & Okrent, Abigail M. & Thabrew, Lanka & Vandenbergh, Michael, 2012. "Carbon Labeling for Consumer Food Goods," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124369, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124369
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/124369
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fredrik Carlsson & Mitesh Kataria & Alan Krupnick & Elina Lampi & Åsa Löfgren & Ping Qin & Susie Chun & Thomas Sterner, 2012. "Paying for Mitigation: A Multiple Country Study," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(2), pages 326-340.
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    3. Solomon, Barry D. & Johnson, Nicholas H., 2009. "Valuing climate protection through willingness to pay for biomass ethanol," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2137-2144, May.
    4. Cohen, Mark A. & Vandenbergh, Michael P., 2012. "The potential role of carbon labeling in a green economy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S1), pages 53-63.
    5. Colman, Tyler & Paster, Pablo, 2007. "Red, white and 'green': the cost of carbon in the global wine trade," Working Papers 37318, American Association of Wine Economists.
    6. Sonia Akter & Jeff Bennett, 2011. "Household perceptions of climate change and preferences for mitigation action: the case of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme in Australia," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 417-436, December.
    7. Diederich, Johannes & Goeschl, Timo, 2011. "Willingness to Pay for Individual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions: Evidence from a Large Field Experiment," Working Papers 0517, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Carbon emissions; food labeling; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Demand and Price Analysis; Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; Q53; D83; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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