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Two Asymmetric and Conflicting Learning Effects of Calorie Posting on Overeating: Laboratory Snack Choice Experiment

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  • Shimokawa, Satoru

Abstract

We develop a new framework to analyze the effect of calorie posting on overconsumption of calories in a fixed-price context (e.g., fixed-price buffets). The framework demonstrates that a desire to get `a good deal’ (transaction utility) and loss aversion can induce asymmetry between two conflicting learning effects of calorie posing: a calorie-decreasing effect of learning that one was underestimating calorie contents (LUE effect) and a calorie-increasing effect of learning that one was overestimating calorie contents (LOE effect). Our laboratory snack choice experiments confirm that the LUE effect dominates the LOE effect under the context of overconsumption, which is consistent with transaction utility theory rather than loss aversion. The findings demonstrate the potential of calorie posting to mitigate overeating.

Suggested Citation

  • Shimokawa, Satoru, 2013. "Two Asymmetric and Conflicting Learning Effects of Calorie Posting on Overeating: Laboratory Snack Choice Experiment," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149687, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:149687
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/149687
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ellison, Brenna D. & Davis, David W. & Lusk, Jayson L., 2011. "“Order This, Not That”: Does Nutrition Information on Restaurant Menus Influence Food Choice?," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103921, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Anderson, Lisa R. & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2008. "Predicting health behaviors with an experimental measure of risk preference," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1260-1274, September.
    3. Tomomi Tanaka & Colin F. Camerer & Quang Nguyen, 2010. "Risk and Time Preferences: Linking Experimental and Household Survey Data from Vietnam," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 557-571, March.
    4. Dave, Dhaval & Saffer, Henry, 2008. "Alcohol demand and risk preference," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 810-831, December.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.054973_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jessica Wisdom & Julie S. Downs & George Loewenstein, 2010. "Promoting Healthy Choices: Information versus Convenience," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 164-178, April.
    7. Benjamin Bushong & Lindsay M. King & Colin F. Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2010. "Pavlovian Processes in Consumer Choice: The Physical Presence of a Good Increases Willingness-to-Pay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1556-1571, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Calorie posting; Calorie consumption; Learning; Transaction utility; Loss aversion; Laboratory Experiment; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; D81; D91; I12;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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