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Public or Private Production of Food Safety: What Do U.S. Consumers Want?

  • V. Kerry Smith
  • Carol Mansfield
  • Aaron Strong

This paper reports estimates of consumers' preferences for plans to improve food safety. The plans are distinguished based on whether they address the ex ante risk of food borne illness or the ex post effects of the illness. They are also distinguished based on whether they focus on a public good -- reducing risk of illness for all consumers or allowing individual households to reduce their private risks of contracting a food borne pathogen. Based on a National Survey conducted in 2007 using the Knowledge Network internet panel our findings indicate consumers favor ex ante risk reductions and are willing to pay approximately $250 annually to reduce the risk of food borne illness. Moreover, they prefer private to public approaches and would not support efforts to reduce the severity of cases of illness over risk reductions.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14287.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14287.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14287
Note: EEE
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  1. Craig E. Landry & John A. List, 2007. "Using Ex Ante Approaches to Obtain Credible Signals for Value in Contingent Markets: Evidence from the Field," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(2), pages 420-429.
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  3. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
  4. James K. Hammitt & Kevin Haninger, 2007. "Willingness to Pay for Food Safety: Sensitivity to Duration and Severity of Illness," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1170-1175.
  5. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  6. Florax, Raymond J.G.M. & Travisi, Chiara M. & Nijkamp, Peter, 2005. "A Meta-Analysis of the Willingness to Pay for Reductions in Pesticide Risk Exposure," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19524, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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  12. repec:feb:framed:0073 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Carson, Richard T. & Hanemann, W. Michael, 2006. "Contingent Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 821-936 Elsevier.
  14. Richard Carson & Robert Mitchell & Michael Hanemann & Raymond Kopp & Stanley Presser & Paul Ruud, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Lost Passive Use: Damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 25(3), pages 257-286, July.
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