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Does Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Food Grant Consumers the Right to Know? Evidence from an Economic Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Dannenberg, Astrid
  • Scatasta, Sara
  • Sturm, Bodo

Abstract

Opponents of the voluntary labeling scheme for genetically modified (GM) food products often argue that consumers have the ?right to know? and therefore advocate mandatory labeling. In this paper we argue against this line of reasoning. Using experimental auctions conducted with a sample of the resident population of Mannheim, Germany, we show that the quality of the informational signal generated by a mandatory labeling scheme is affected by the number of labels in the market. If there are two labels, one for GM products and one for non-GM products, mandatory and voluntary labeling schemes generate a similar degree of uncertainty about the quality of products that do not carry a label.

Suggested Citation

  • Dannenberg, Astrid & Scatasta, Sara & Sturm, Bodo, 2008. "Does Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Food Grant Consumers the Right to Know? Evidence from an Economic Experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-029, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7301
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Pengcheng, 2009. "Consumers’ WTA for GM rice cookie: an experiment study in China," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51771, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Dannenberg, Astrid, 2008. "Is it Who You Ask or How You Ask? Findings of a Meta-Analysis on Genetically Modified Food Valuation Studies," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-096, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Dannenberg, Astrid, 2009. "The dispersion and development of consumer preferences for genetically modified food -- A meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2182-2192, June.
    4. Astrid Dannenberg & Sara Scatasta & Bodo Sturm, 2009. "Keine Chance für genetisch veränderte Lebensmittel in Deutschland? Eine experimentelle Analyse von Zahlungsbereitschaften," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10(2), pages 214-234, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labeling; genetically modified foods; consumer preferences; experimental auctions;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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