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Are Mercury Advisories Effective? Information, Education, and Fish Consumption

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  • Timothy K.M. Beatty
  • Jay P. Shimshack
  • Michael B. Ward

Abstract

This paper examines responses to a national FDA advisory urging at-risk individuals to limit store-bought fish consumption due to the dangers of methyl-mercury. We address this issue using parametric and nonparametric methods, including recently developed tests of stochastic dominance. Both education and newspaper readership were important determinants of consumption response, suggesting that information acquisition and assimilation are key factors for risk avoidance. While the advisory was effective for some groups, we do not find a response among the relatively large group of at-risk households which met neither the education nor readership criteria.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy K.M. Beatty & Jay P. Shimshack & Michael B. Ward, 2005. "Are Mercury Advisories Effective? Information, Education, and Fish Consumption," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0502, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0502
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling

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