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The Effects of Avian Influenza News on Consumer Purchasing Behavior: A Case Study of Italian Consumers' Retail Purchases

  • Beach, Robert H.
  • Kuchler, Fred
  • Leibtag, Ephraim S.
  • Zhen, Chen

To better understand how information about potential health hazards influences food demand, this case study examines consumers’ responses to newspaper articles on avian influenza, informally referred to as bird flu. The focus here is on the response to bird flu information in Italy as news about highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI H5N1) unfolded in the period October 2004 through October 2006, beginning after reports of the first outbreaks in Southeast Asia and extending beyond the point at which outbreaks were reported in Western Europe. Estimated poultry demand, as influenced by the volume of newspaper reports on bird flu, reveals the magnitude and duration of newspaper articles’ impacts on consumers’ food choices. Larger numbers of bird flu news reports led to larger reductions in poultry purchases. Most impacts were of limited duration, and all began to diminish within 5 weeks.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/56477
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Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Research Report with number 56477.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:56477
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  1. Thomas Marsh & Ted Schroeder & James Mintert, 2004. "Impacts of meat product recalls on consumer demand in the USA," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 897-909.
  2. Kuchler, Fred & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2006. "Did Bse Announcements Reduce Beef Purchases?," Economic Research Report 7251, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Frazao, Elizabeth & Meade, Birgit Gisela Saager & Regmi, Anita, 2008. "Converging Patterns in Global Food Consumption and Food Delivery Systems," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.
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  5. Dono, Gabriele & Thompson, Gary, 1994. "Explaining Changes in Italian Consumption of Meat: Parametric and Non-parametric Analysis," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 175-98.
  6. Nicholas E. Piggott & Thomas L. Marsh, 2004. "Does Food Safety Information Impact U.S. Meat Demand?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(1), pages 154-174.
  7. L. Fanelli & M. Mazzocchi, 2002. "A cointegrated VECM demand system for meat in Italy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(13), pages 1593-1605.
  8. Blayney, Donald P. & Dyck, John H. & Harvey, David J., 2006. "Economic Effects of Animal Diseases linked to Trade Dependency," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.
  9. Golan, Elise H. & Krissoff, Barry & Kuchler, Fred & Calvin, Linda & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Price, Gregory K., 2004. "Traceability In The U.S. Food Supply: Economic Theory And Industry Studies," Agricultural Economics Reports 33939, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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