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Estimating willingness-to-pay for neonicotinoid-free plants: Incorporating pro-environmental behavior in hypothetical and non-hypothetical experiments

Xuan Wei, Hayk Khachatryan and Alicia Rihn

PLOS ONE, 2021, vol. 16, issue 5, 1-20

Abstract: This study investigates the extent to which individuals’ perceptions and attitudes toward pesticides and pollinator related labeling influence their preferences for eco-labeled products. An incentive compatible second-price auction and a hypothetical discrete choice experiment were used to elicit individual preferences for ornamental plants grown with or without controversial (neonicotinoid) pesticides. Positive attitudes toward pollinators, neonicotinoid labeling regulations, and labeling of sustainable production methods were found to be significant predictors of individual choice behavior. Individuals with attitudes expressing concern for pollinators and agreement with mandatory labeling and disclosure of neonicotinoids, showed a stronger preference for neonicotinoid-free plants. Our results suggest that both hypothetical and non-hypothetical experiments are consistent in predicting the general direction of consumer preferences despite the elicitation mechanism. Implications for relevant stakeholders are discussed.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0251798

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