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Towards a More Holistic Understanding of American Support for Genetically Modified Crops: An Examination of Influential Factors Using a Binomial Dependent Variable


  • Josephine, Faass
  • Michael, Lahr


This paper is an investigation into the relative importance of a wide variety of factors in influencing whether members of the American public support or oppose the use of biotechnology in agriculture and food production. To accomplish this end, as well as to facilitate the examination of a large number of independent variables simultaneously, several statistical methods, including factor analyses, instrumental variables analysis, and probit and logistic regressions were performed. It was determined that people’s perceptions of risks and moral acceptability were important contributors to opinion formation in this regard. The effects of expected benefits, feelings of trust in information, and knowledge about biotechnology and genetics, were also investigated and found to exert varying levels of influence depending on the identity of the expected beneficiary or information source, as well as the kind of knowledge under consideration. The roles of religious and political party affiliation were also examined and determined to be significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Josephine, Faass & Michael, Lahr, 2007. "Towards a More Holistic Understanding of American Support for Genetically Modified Crops: An Examination of Influential Factors Using a Binomial Dependent Variable," MPRA Paper 6124, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6124

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Asa Boholm, 1998. "Comparative studies of risk perception: a review of twenty years of research," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 135-163, April.
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    More about this item


    genetically modified foods; biotechnology; public opinion;

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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