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The Value Of Verificable Information In A Controversial Market: Evidence From Lab Auctions Of Genetically Modified Food

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  • Rousu, Matthew C.
  • Huffman, Wallace E.
  • Shogren, Jason F.
  • Tegene, Abebayehu

Abstract

Two interested parties dominate the current debate on genetically modified (GM) foods: environmental groups and agribusiness companies. For the average consumer to arrive at an informed decision on these new foods, they must rely on information from interested parties. Unfortunately, information from interested parties does not provide an accurate picture of the benefits and risks of new products. This paper examines the effects of information on consumers' demand for new food products, GM-foods, in an environment where information from one or more interested parties is provided. We design and conduct laboratory auction experiments using randomly chosen adult consumers from two large metropolitan areas who are grouped into twelve experimental units and subjected to six randomly assigned information treatments. We find that in this environment, verifiable information has a small but positive value to sample consumers, and the projected annual social value to all processed foods consumed is relatively large for this public good. Such a large potential value may make it worthwhile for the United States to establish a new third party institution that would produce and distribute verifiable information on GM food.

Suggested Citation

  • Rousu, Matthew C. & Huffman, Wallace E. & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2002. "The Value Of Verificable Information In A Controversial Market: Evidence From Lab Auctions Of Genetically Modified Food," Working Papers 18212, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:genres:18212
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.18212
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    File URL: https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/18212/files/wp020003.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jason F. Shogren & John A. List & Dermot J. Hayes, 2000. "Preference Learning in Consecutive Experimental Auctions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1016-1021.
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    3. Jason F. Shogren & John A. Fox, 1996. "Consumer Preferences for Fresh Food Items with Multiple Quality Attributes: Evidence from an Experimental Auction of Pork Chops," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 916-923.
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    Cited by:

    1. Huffman, Wallace E. & Rousu, Matthew & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2007. "The effects of prior beliefs and learning on consumers' acceptance of genetically modified foods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 193-206, May.
    2. Liu, Pengcheng, 2009. "Consumers’ WTA for GM rice cookie: an experiment study in China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51771, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Harrison, R. Wes & Han, Jae-Hwan, 2005. "The Effects of Urban Consumer Perceptions on Attitudes for Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 36(2), pages 1-10, July.
    4. Huffman, Wallace & Rousu, M. & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 1009. "Are U.S. Consumers Tolerant of GM Foods?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12336, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Huffman, Wallace E. & Rousu, Matthew C. & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2003. "Better Dead Than Gm-Fed? Information And The Effects Of Consumers' Resistance To Gm-Foods In High-Income Countries," Working Papers 18208, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    6. Dannenberg, Astrid, 2009. "The dispersion and development of consumer preferences for genetically modified food -- A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2182-2192, June.
    7. Corrigan, Jay R. & Rousu, Matthew C., 2006. "AJAE Appendix: Posted Prices and Bid Affiliation: Evidence from Experimental Auctions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics APPENDICES, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1-12, November.
    8. Maurizio Canavari & Rodolfo Nayga, 2009. "On consumers' willingness to purchase nutritionally enhanced genetically modified food," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(1), pages 125-137.
    9. Matthew C. Rousu & Jay R. Corrigan, 2008. "Estimating the Value Consumers Derive from Product Labeling," Working Papers 0802, Kenyon College, Department of Economics.
    10. Colson, Gregory & Huffman, Wallace E. & Rousu, Matthew C., 2011. "Improving the Nutrient Content of Food through Genetic Modification: Evidence from Experimental Auctions on Consumer Acceptance," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 1-22, August.
    11. Stefani, Gianluca & Valli, Carlotta, 2004. "Exploring the Impacts of Risk Communication Policies on Welfare: Theoretical Aspects," 84th Seminar, February 8-11, 2004, Zeist, The Netherlands 24989, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Dannenberg, Astrid, 2008. "Is it Who You Ask or How You Ask? Findings of a Meta-Analysis on Genetically Modified Food Valuation Studies," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-096, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    13. Huffman, Wallace & Rousu, Matthew & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2002. "Should the United States Regulate Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Modified Foods?," ISU General Staff Papers 200210280800001246, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    14. Hu, Wuyang & Woods, Timothy & Bastin, Sandra & Cox, Linda & You, Wen, 2011. "Assessing Consumer Willingness to Pay for Value-Added Blueberry Products Using a Payment Card Survey," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 243-258, May.
    15. Huffman, Wallace E. & Rousu, Matthew C. & Shogren, Jason F. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2003. "Consumers' Resistance To Genetically Modified Foods In High Income Countries: The Role Of Information In An Uncertain Environment," 2003 Annual Meeting, August 16-22, 2003, Durban, South Africa 25837, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Huffman Wallace E. & Rousu Matthew & Shogren Jason F & Tegene Abebayehu, 2004. "Consumer's Resistance to Genetically Modified Foods: The Role of Information in an Uncertain Environment," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-15, May.
    17. Wallace E. Huffman & Matthew Rousu & Jason F. Shogren & Abebayehu Tegene, 2004. "Who Do Consumers Trust for Information: The Case of Genetically Modified Foods?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1222-1229.
    18. Rigby, Dan & Burton, Michael P., 2003. "Capturing Preference Heterogeneity in Stated Choice Models: A Random Parameter Logit Model of the Demand for GM Food," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 58200, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    19. Ganiere, Pierre & Chern, Wen S. & Hahn, David E. & Chiang, Fu-Sung, 2004. "Consumer Attitudes towards Genetically Modified Foods in Emerging Markets: The Impact of Labeling in Taiwan," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 7(3), pages 1-20.
    20. Wachenheim, Cheryl J. & Vanwechel, Tamara, 2004. "The Influence Of Environmental-Impact Information On Consumer Willingness To Pay For Products Labeled As Free Of Genetically Modified Ingredients," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 35(2), pages 1-13, July.
    21. Colson, Gregory & Huffman, Wallace E. & Rousu, Matthew C., 2011. "Improving the Nutrient Content of Food through Genetic Modification: Evidence from Experimental Auctions on Consumer Acceptance," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 1-22, August.
    22. Xue, Hong & Mainville, Denise Y. & You, Wen & Nayga, Rodolfo M., Jr., 2009. "Nutrition Knowledge, Sensory Characteristics and Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Pasture-Fed Beef," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49277, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies;

    JEL classification:

    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General

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