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On Food Companies Liability for Obesity

Author

Listed:
  • Bénédicte Coestier
  • Estelle Gozlan
  • Stephan Marette

Abstract

The US food industry faces tobacco-style lawsuits for providing misleading information about health risks linked to the consumption of fatty products. This paper investigates the link between alternative liability rules and the incentive for disclosing health information to consumers. We show that if the expected damage is relatively low, the absence of intervention is socially optimal. If the expected damage is not too high, mandatory labeling is socially optimal. Liability rules are only welfare-enhancing for high levels of risk and/or when consumers misperceive health warnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Bénédicte Coestier & Estelle Gozlan & Stephan Marette, 2004. "On Food Companies Liability for Obesity," Working Papers 2004/01, INRA, Economie Publique.
  • Handle: RePEc:apu:wpaper:2004/01
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    File URL: https://www6.versailles-grignon.inra.fr/economie_publique/Media/fichiers/Working-Papers/Working-Papers-2004/WP_2004_01
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Doughety, Andrew F & Reinganum, Jennifer F, 1997. "Everybody Out of the Pool: Products Liability, Punitive Damages, and Competition," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 410-432, October.
    2. Elamin H. Elbasha* & T. Lynn Riggs, 2003. "The effects of information on producer and consumer incentives to undertake food safety efforts: A theoretical model and policy implications," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 29-42.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Yaqin & Ferreira, Susana & Colson, Gregory & Wetzstein, Michael, 2013. "Obesity and Counseling," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149947, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Boizot-Szantai, Christine & Etile, Fabrice, 2005. "The Food Prices / Body Mass Index Relationship: Theory and Evidence from a Sample of French Adults," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24734, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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