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Examining the Effect of Food Recalls on Demand: The Case of Ground Beef in the U.S

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  • Zare, Samane
  • Zheng, Yuqing
  • Buck, Steven

Abstract

Using Nielson retail scanner dataset and applying difference-in-difference approach and synthetic control method, we test whether consumers in Utah reduced beef purchases after 2009 Salmonella outbreak of ground beef products. The result of DID approach indicates that the Salmonella event reduced ground beef purchases in Utah by 17% in four weeks after the recall. Price elasticity of demand is also estimated to be -2.04; therefore, the reduction in ground beef purchases as a result of recall is comparable to almost 8.3% increase in the price of this product. Using the synthetic control method that allows us to use all of the control states to produce synthetic Utah, we found the effect of this event very small.

Suggested Citation

  • Zare, Samane & Zheng, Yuqing & Buck, Steven, 2017. "Examining the Effect of Food Recalls on Demand: The Case of Ground Beef in the U.S," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252837, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:saea17:252837
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Seth Freedman & Melissa Kearney & Mara Lederman, 2012. "Product Recalls, Imperfect Information, and Spillover Effects: Lessons from the Consumer Response to the 2007 Toy Recalls," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 499-516, May.
    2. Crowley, Christian S.L. & Shimazaki, Yoshiaki, 2005. "Measuring the Impact of a BSE Announcement on U.S. Retail Beef Sales: A Time-Series Analysis," Journal of Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics Association of Georgia, vol. 23(1).
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    4. Michael R. Thomsen & Rimma Shiptsova & Sandra J. Hamm, 2006. "Sales Responses to Recalls for Listeria monocytogenes: Evidence from Branded Ready-to-Eat Meats," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 482-493.
    5. Bakhtavoryan, Rafael & Capps, Oral, Jr. & Salin, Victoria, 2012. "Impact of Food Contamination on Brands: A Demand Systems Estimation of Peanut Butter," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 41(3), December.
    6. Bakhtavoryan, Rafael & Capps, Oral & Salin, Victoria, 2014. "The Impact of Food Safety Incidents Across Brands: The Case of the Peter Pan Peanut Butter Recall," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(04), pages 559-573, November.
    7. Peake, Whitney O. & Detre, Joshua D. & Carlson, Clinton C., 2014. "One bad apple spoils the bunch? An exploration of broad consumption changes in response to food recalls," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(P1), pages 13-22.
    8. Reilly, Robert J & Hoffer, George E, 1983. "Will Retarding the Information Flow on Automobile Recalls Affect Consumer Demand?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(3), pages 444-447, July.
    9. McKenzie, Andrew M. & Thomsen, Michael R., 2001. "The Effect Of E. Coli O157:H7 On Beef Prices," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 26(02), December.
    10. Arnade, Carlos Anthony & Calvin, Linda & Kuchler, Fred, 2008. "Market Response to a Food Safety Shock: The 2006 Foodborne Illness Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Linked to Spinach," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6448, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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    Keywords

    Recall; Salmonella; Treatment effect; Synthetic control; Agricultural and Food Policy; Consumer/Household Economics; Health Economics and Policy; Marketing;

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