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Measuring Willingness to Pay for Environmental Attributes in Seafood

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  • Villas-Boas, Sofia B
  • Hilger, James
  • Stevens, Andrew
  • Hallstein, Eric

Abstract

We investigate whether consumers are willing to pay for sustainability in seafood. To do this, we estimate a logit random utility model (RUM) of seafood purchases using a product-level scanner dataset from a quasi-experimental setting that includes data both before and after the implementation of a seafood advisory and sustainability label. Each seafood product is defined as a bundle of attributes, including price, species, and sustainability rating. The sustainability rating is communicated to consumers through the use of a color-based traffic light label system, where a color rating is assigned to each seafood stock-keeping unit. Combining a structural demand model with a difference-in-differences approach allows us to take advantage of the implementation of the labeling treatment in a subset of stores in the local retail chain to estimate consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for green, yellow, and red sustainability labels. We find that the addition of a yellow sustainability label negatively impacts consumer’s WTP for seafood products, however this simple average effect does not fully capture many independent underlying mechanisms, such as consumer preferences for wild-caught versus farmed products, and the color-distribution of available labeled products within a species, which are empirically explored. Additional results from a second stage generalized least squares regression of RUM product fixed effects on product characteristics indicate that consumers prefer selective harvest methods, wild caught seafood, and U.S. caught seafood.
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Suggested Citation

  • Villas-Boas, Sofia B & Hilger, James & Stevens, Andrew & Hallstein, Eric, 2016. "Measuring Willingness to Pay for Environmental Attributes in Seafood," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt6nh0g7fg, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt6nh0g7fg
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    2. Wenzhi Ding & Ross Levine & Chen Lin & Wensi Xie, 2020. "Competition Laws, Norms and Corporate Social Responsibility," NBER Working Papers 27493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rui Albuquerque & Yrjö Koskinen & Chendi Zhang, 2019. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Risk: Theory and Empirical Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(10), pages 4451-4469, October.

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