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Consumer Preferences for Food Irradiation: How Favorable and Unfavorable Descriptions Affect Preferences for Irradiated Pork in Experimental Auctions

Author

Listed:
  • Fox, John A.
  • Hayes, Dermot J.
  • Shogren, Jason F.

Abstract

Experimental auctions were used to examine the effects of alternative descriptions of food irradiation on willingness-to-pay for a pork sandwich irradiated to control Trichinella. As expected, a favorable description of irradiation increased willingness-to-pay, and an unfavorable description decreased willingness-to-pay. Notably, when subjects were given both the pro- and anti-irradiation descriptions, the negative description dominated and willingness-to-pay decreased. This was true even though the source of the negative information was identified as being a consumer advocacy group and the information itself was written in a manner that was non-scientific. If this is a widespread phenomenon, the process provides those who make inaccurate claims about new technologies a greater incentive than would otherwise be the case. Keywords: food safety, risk, auctions, irradiation, information, bidding

Suggested Citation

  • Fox, John A. & Hayes, Dermot J. & Shogren, Jason F., 2002. "Consumer Preferences for Food Irradiation: How Favorable and Unfavorable Descriptions Affect Preferences for Irradiated Pork in Experimental Auctions," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5207, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:5207
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