Calorie labeling and fast food choices in surveys and actual markets: some new behavioral results
We conducted a survey and a randomized natural experiment with the same subjects to investigate the effect of information about calorie intake on fast food choices. This combined approach allows us to maximize both internal and external research validity and test consistency of findings. We find that providing information about calories in a survey context for fast food menus has a moderate effect on calorie consumption, decreasing on average by 2.96 percent the amount of calories of the selected food choices. However, the same nutritional information had no significant impact on actual purchases in the restaurant context. Among the possible menus, the salad menu (the healthiest menu) was the most preferred option by those respondents who received nutritional information in the survey context; whereas in the restaurant, the most popular choice for the same group of people was the “Double bacon burger option” (the least healthy option). Finally, we find that the average calorie content of participants’ actual purchases increases significantly (0.17%) with the number of days elapsed between the day when the survey took place (and information was provided) and the actual purchase day at the restaurant. These results show large discrepancies between stated preferences and actual market behavior. These findings may be justified by the existence of projection bias and subjects acting under rational ignorance.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202|
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page: http://www.aaea.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003.
"Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248.
- Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5qh6142m, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," General Economics and Teaching 0012003, EconWPA.
- Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Working Papers 02-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- George Loewenstein, Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Economics Working Papers E00-284, University of California at Berkeley.
- David R Just & Brian Wansink, 2011. "The Flat-Rate Pricing Paradox: Conflicting Effects of "“All-You-Can-Eat"” Buffet Pricing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 193-200, February.
- 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 164-78, April.
- Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2010.
"The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain,"
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 32-63, August.
- Janet Currie & Stefano DellaVigna & Enrico Moretti & Vikram Pathania, 2009. "The Effect of Fast Food Restaurants on Obesity and Weight Gain," NBER Working Papers 14721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Anderson, Michael L. & Matsa, David A., 2008.
"Are restuarants really supersizing America?,"
CUDARE Working Paper Series
1056R4, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy, revised Jul 2010.
- Anderson, Michael L. & Matsa, David A., 2010. "Are Restaurants Really Supersizing America?," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt4vm5m5vr, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
- Vossler, Christian & Watson, Sharon, 2012.
"Understanding the consequences of consequentiality: Testing the validity of stated preferences in the field,"
48109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Vossler, Christian A. & Watson, Sharon B., 2013. "Understanding the consequences of consequentiality: Testing the validity of stated preferences in the field," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 137-147.
- Julie S. Downs & George Loewenstein & Jessica Wisdom, 2009. "Strategies for Promoting Healthier Food Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 159-64, May.
- Bryan Bollinger & Phillip Leslie & Alan Sorensen, 2011.
"Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants,"
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 91-128, February.
- Bryan Bollinger & Phillip Leslie & Alan Sorensen, 2010. "Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants," NBER Working Papers 15648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bollinger, Bryan & Leslie, Phillip & Sorensen, Alan, 2010. "Calorie Posting in Chain Restaurants," Working Papers 56693, American Association of Wine Economists.
- Maria L. Loureiro & Steven T. Yen & Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr, 2012. "The effects of nutritional labels on obesity," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 333-342, 05.
- Brian E. Roe & David R. Just, 2009. "Internal and External Validity in Economics Research: Tradeoffs between Experiments, Field Experiments, Natural Experiments, and Field Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1266-1271.
- Stewart, Hayden & Blisard, Noel & Jolliffe, Dean, 2006. "Let's Eat Out: Americans Weigh Taste, Convenience, and Nutrition," Economic Information Bulletin 59411, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
- Jacoby, Jacob & Szybillo, Geroge J & Busato-Schach, Jacqueline, 1977. " Information Acquisition Behavior in Brand Choice Situations," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(4), pages 209-16, March.
- Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002.
"An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System,"
NBER Working Papers
9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
- Berning, Joshua P. & Chouinard, Hayley & Manning, Kenneth & McCluskey, Jill J. & Sprott, David, 2009.
"Identifying Consumer Preferences for Nutrition Information on Grocery Store Shelf Labels,"
149962, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
- Berning, Joshua P. & Chouinard, Hayley H. & Manning, Kenneth C. & McCluskey, Jill J. & Sprott, David E., 2010. "Identifying consumer preferences for nutrition information on grocery store shelf labels," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 429-436, October.
- Joshua P. Berning & Hayley H. Chouinard & Kenneth C. Manning & Jill J. McCluskey & David E. Sprott, 2009. "Identifying Consumer Preferences for Nutrition Information on Grocery Store Shelf Labels," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 120, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:150622. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.