Voting or Buying: Inconsistency in Preferences toward Food Safety in Restaurants
Consumers sometimes prefer stricter food regulations as voters than as consumers. A prime example is that battery-cage eggs were the most sold types of eggs in California in 2008 when 63% of voters supported the animal welfare proposition forbidding battery-cage eggs starting from from 2015. In this paper, we investigate whether a similar consumer-citizen duality might exist in willingness to pay for food safety standards in restaurants. Using a split sample willingness to pay survey we find that consumers have a higher willingness to pay for improved restaurant food safety standards when voting than when acting as consumers. The results are discussed in the light of the literature on trust, social choice and public choice theory.
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