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Consumer Willingness to Pay for Genetically Modified Food Labels in a Market with Diverse Information: Evidence from Experimental Auctions

  • Huffman, Wallace
  • Shogren, J. E.
  • Rousu, M.
  • Tegene, Abebayehu

With the continuing controversy over genetically modified (GM) foods, some groups advocate mandatory labeling of these products, while other groups oppose labeling. An important issue is how GM labels affect consumers' willingness to pay for these food products in the market. Using a statistically based economics experiment with adult consumers as subjects, we examine how willingness to pay changes for three food products--vegetable oil, tortilla chips, and potatoes--when GM labels are introduced. Participants in the experiments discounted GM-labeled foods by approximately 14% relative to their standard-labeled counterparts. The evidence also showed that sequencing of food labels affects willingness to pay, and that randomizing treatments is an important methodological feature in experiments of willingness to pay.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12256.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, December 2003, vol. 28, pp. 481-502
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12256
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Lusk, Jayson L. & Daniel, M. Scott & Mark, Darrell R. & Lusk, Christine L., 2000. "Alternative Calibration And Auction Institutions For Predicting Consumer Willingness-To-Pay For Non-Genetically Modified Corn Chips," 2000 Annual Meeting, June 29-July 1, 2000, Vancouver, British Columbia 36424, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
  2. Carlson, Andrea & Kinsey, Jean D. & Nadav, Carmel, 1998. "Who Eats What, When, And From Where?," Working Papers 14312, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
  3. Cherry, Todd L. & Crocker, Thomas D. & Shogren, Jason F., 2003. "Rationality spillovers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 63-84, January.
  4. Kinsey, Jean D. & Wolfson, Paul J. & Katsaras, Nikolaos & Senauer, Benjamin, 2001. "Data Mining: A Segmentation Analysis Of U.S. Grocery Shoppers," Working Papers 14335, University of Minnesota, The Food Industry Center.
  5. Jason F. Shogren & John A. List & Dermot J. Hayes, 2000. "Preference Learning in Consecutive Experimental Auctions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 1016-1021.
  6. Huffman, Wallace E. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2002. "Public Acceptance of and Benefits from Agricultural Biotechnology: A Key Role for Verifiable Information," Staff General Research Papers 10435, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Wallace E. Huffman & Matthew Rousu & Jason F. Shogren & Abebayehu Tegene, 2004. "Who Do Consumers Trust for Information: The Case of Genetically Modified Foods?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1222-1229.
  8. Shogren, Jason F. & Seung Y. Shin & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1994. "Resolving Differences in Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 255-70, March.
  9. Hayes, Dermot J. & Shogren, Jason F. & Shin, Seung Youll & Kliebenstein, James, 1995. "Valuing Food Safety in Experimental Auction Markets," Staff General Research Papers 835, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521671248 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521855167 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Shogren, Jason F. & Margolis, Michael & Koo, Cannon & List, John A., 2001. "A random nth-price auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 409-421, December.
  13. John A. List & Jason F. Shogren, 1999. "Price Information and Bidding Behavior in Repeated Second-Price Auctions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 942-949.
  14. Noussair, C. & Robin, S. & Ruffieux, B., 2001. "Genetically Modified Organisms in the Food Supply: Public Opinion vs. Consumer Behavior," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1139, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
  15. Jason F. Shogren & John A. Fox, 1996. "Consumer Preferences for Fresh Food Items with Multiple Quality Attributes: Evidence from an Experimental Auction of Pork Chops," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(4), pages 916-923.
  16. John A. Fox & Jason F. Shogren & Dermot J. Hayes & James B. Kliebenstein, 1998. "CVM-X: Calibrating Contingent Values with Experimental Auction Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(3), pages 455-465.
  17. Golan, Elise H. & Kuchler, Fred & Mitchell, Lorraine, 2000. "Economics Of Food Labeling," Agricultural Economics Reports 34069, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  18. Wilson, William W. & Dahl, Bruce L., 2002. "Costs And Risks Of Testing And Segregating Gm Wheat," Agribusiness & Applied Economics Report 23480, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
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