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Unraveling preferences for religious ties in food transactions: A consumer perspective

Eline D'Haene, Juan Tur Cardona, Stijn Speelman, Koen Schoors and Marijke D'Haese

Agricultural Economics, 2021, vol. 52, issue 4, 701-716

Abstract: Food choices are key in communicating religious identities and marking religious boundaries. Whereas the literature has focused on religion's impact on food habits, the effect of religion on food market exchanges remains largely unexplored. Using the Ethiopian milk market as a case study, we conduct a series of innovative experimental choice tasks with urban dairy consumers to elicit their preferences for milk seller characteristics. In the choice tasks, milk seller profiles are constructed using five relevant attributes: milk price, distance to the selling point, seller type, seller gender, and seller religious affiliation. We observe consumer preferences for lower milk prices, shorter distances, and dairy farmers over milk shops. When accounting for attribute non‐attendance, we find that consumers who take religion into account prefer co‐religious sellers, and that consumers who take gender into account generally prefer female sellers. Our results enrich our understanding of the role of religion in purchase behavior and market segmentation.

Date: 2021
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