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Can foods produced ith new plant engineering techniques succeed in the marketplace? A case study of apples

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  • Marette, Stephan
  • Beghin, John
  • Disdier, Anne-Célia
  • Mojduszka, Eliza

Abstract

New Plant Engineering Techniques (NPETs) have path-breaking potential to improve foods by strengthening their production, increasing resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and by bettering their appearance and nutritional quality. Can NPETs-based foods succeed in the marketplace? Providing answers to this question, we first develop a simple economic model for R&D investment in food innovations based on NPETs and traditional hybridization methods, to identify which technology emerges under various parameter characterizations and associated economic welfare outcomes. The framework combines the cost of food innovation with consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the new food, highlighting the uncertain and costly nature of R&D processes as well as the role of consumer acceptance of technology, and the cost of ignorance, and regret, if consumers are not fully informed on the technology used to generate the new food. We then apply the framework to a case of NPETs-based new apples using recently elicited WTP of French and US consumers. Our simulation results suggest that NPETs may be socially beneficial under full information, and when the probability of success under NPETs is significantly higher than under traditional hybridization. Otherwise, the innovation based on traditional hybridization is socially optimal. A probable collapse of conventional apples raises the social desirability of new apples generated by NPETs and traditional hybridization.

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  • Marette, Stephan & Beghin, John & Disdier, Anne-Célia & Mojduszka, Eliza, 2021. "Can foods produced ith new plant engineering techniques succeed in the marketplace? A case study of apples," Staff Papers 309701, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nbaesp:309701
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.309701
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jutta Roosen & Stéphan Marette, 2011. "Making the "right" choice based on experiments: regulatory decisions for food and health," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 38(3), pages 361-381, August.
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    3. Stephan S. Marette & Anne-Célia Disdier & John C Beghin, 2020. "A Comparison of EU and US consumers' willingness to pay for gene-edited food: Evidence from apples," PSE Working Papers halshs-02872222, HAL.
    4. Jayson L. Lusk & Stéphan Marette, 2010. "Welfare Effects of Food Labels and Bans with Alternative Willingness to Pay Measures," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 319-337.
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    8. Stéphan Marette & Jutta Roosen & Sandrine Blanchemanche, 2008. "Taxes and subsidies to change eating habits when information is not enough: an application to fish consumption," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 119-143, October.
    9. Yokessa, Maïmouna & Marette, Stéphan, 2019. "A Review of Eco-labels and their Economic Impact," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 13(1-2), pages 119-163, April.
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    14. Rousu, Matthew C. & Marette, Stéphan & Thrasher, James F. & Lusk, Jayson L., 2014. "The economic value to smokers of graphic warning labels on cigarettes: Evidence from combining market and experimental auction data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 123-134.
    15. Lusk, Jayson L. & Jamal, Mustafa & Kurlander, Lauren & Roucan, Maud & Taulman, Lesley, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of Genetically Modified Food Valuation Studies," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-17, April.
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    1. Marette, Stéphan (Paris-Saclay) & Disdier, Anne-Célia (PSE) & Bodnar, Anastasia (USDA OCE) & Beghin, John C (UNL), 2021. "New Plant Engineering Techniques, R&D Investment, and International Trade," Staff Papers 313493, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    2. John C. Beghin & Christopher R. Gustafson, 2021. "Consumer Valuation of and Attitudes towards Novel Foods Produced with New Plant Engineering Techniques: A Review," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(20), pages 1-17, October.

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    Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

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