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U.S. consumers’ preferences for imported and genetically modified sugar: Examining policy consequentiality in a choice experiment

Karen E. Lewis, Carola Grebitus () and Rodolfo Nayga
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Karen Lewis DeLong

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2016, vol. 65, issue C, 1-8

Abstract: Sugar originating in the United States is produced using both genetically modified (GM) and non-GM seeds and the United States is one of the largest importers of sugar in the world. Therefore, an online choice experiment was used to determine U.S. consumer willingness to pay (WTP) for imported and GM labeled bagged sugar and sugar in soft drinks. The choice experiments included two treatments: one serving as the control and one to test the impact of policy consequentiality. Results from both treatments indicate that consumers prefer bags of sugar and sugar in soft drinks from Canada and the United States compared to unlabeled sugar and sugar from Mexico, Brazil and the Philippines. Consumers also prefer non-GM labeled sugar compared to unlabeled and GM labeled sugar. The results regarding the use of policy consequentiality in an online choice experiment suggest that the application of consequentiality may increase participants’ likelihood of choosing one of the product options presented in the choice set rather than choosing the “none of these” option. Furthermore, participants who saw the consequentiality script had a higher level of belief that their survey responses would be consequential (p < 0.05).

Keywords: Country of origin labeling; Genetically modified labeling; Ingredients; Policy consequentiality; Soft drinks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q13 Q17 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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