Modeling The Impact Of Food Safety Information On Meat Demand In Spain
This paper analyses the impact of food safety information about the 'mad-cow' crisis on the demand for different types of fresh meat and fish in Spain. The theoretical model explicitly incorporates food safety information in the consumers' utility function, from which demand equations are obtained. Two alternative functional forms have been considered, the standard AIDS and the Generalized Almost ideal Demand System (GAIDS) in order to overcome the problem of incorporating demand shifters in the traditional AIDS model. The food safety information has been incorporated into the demand function through a weighted information index built on the basis of the published news related to the mad-cow disease in the most popular Spanish newspaper. The comparison of elasticities from both models suggests that GAIDS elasticities are more consistent with the characteristics of meat and fish markets in Spain. Moreover, mass media information on BSE has had a statistically significant but small effect on the consumption of the different meat products in Spain.
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