Economics Of Food Labeling
Federal intervention in food labeling is often proposed with the aim of achieving a social goal such as improving human health and safety, mitigating environmental hazards, averting international trade disputes, or supporting domestic agricultural and food manufacturing industries. Economic theory suggests, however, that mandatory food-labeling requirements are best suited to alleviating problems of asymmetric information and are rarely effective in redressing environmental or other spillovers associated with food production and consumption. Theory also suggests that the appropriate role for government in labeling depends on the type of information involved and the level and distribution of the costs and benefits of providing that information. This report traces the economic theory behind food labeling and presents three case studies in which the government has intervened in labeling and two examples in which government intervention has been proposed.
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- Steven C. Salop, 1976. "Information and monopolistic competition," Special Studies Papers 74, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 33-55.
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- Gary D. Thompson & Julia Kidwell, 1998. "Explaining the Choice of Organic Produce: Cosmetic Defects, Prices, and Consumer Preferences," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 277-287.
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- Wesley A. Magat & W. Kip Viscusi, 1992. "Informational Approaches to Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026213277x, January.
- Pauline M. Ippolito & Alan D. Mathios, 1990. "Information, Advertising and Health Choices: A Study of the Cereal Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 459-480, Autumn.
- Ippolito, Pauline M & Mathios, Alan D, 1995. "Information and Advertising: The Case of Fat Consumption in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 91-95, May.
- Robert D. Weaver & David J. Evans & A. E. Luloff, 1992. "Pesticide use in tomato production: Consumer concerns and willingness-to-pay," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(2), pages 131-142.
- Variyam, Jayachandran N. & Blaylock, James R. & Smallwood, David, 1995. "Modeling Nutrient Intake: The Role of Dietary Information," Technical Bulletins 156772, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Eliza M. Mojduszka & Julie A. Caswell, 2000. "A Test of Nutritional Quality Signaling in Food Markets Prior to Implementation of Mandatory Labeling," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 298-309.
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- George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
- Elitzak, Howard, 1999. "Food Cost Review, 1950-97," Agricultural Economics Reports 34053, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Dobbs, Thomas L., 1998. "Price Premiums for Organic Crops," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 13(2). Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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