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Impacts of meat product recalls on consumer demand in the USA

Thomas Marsh, Ted Schroeder and James Mintert ()

Applied Economics, 2004, vol. 36, issue 9, 897-909

Abstract: The impact of meat product recall events on consumer demand (beef, pork, poultry, and other consumption goods) in the USA is tested empirically. Beef, pork, and poultry recall indices are constructed from both the Food Safety Inspection Service's meat recall events and from newspaper reports over the period 1982-1998. Following previous product recall studies, recall indices are incorporated as shift variables in consumers' demand functions. Estimating an absolute price version of the Rotterdam demand model, findings indicate that Food Safety Inspection Service's meat recall events significantly impact demand, and newspaper reports do not. Moreover, although elasticities related to recall events are significant they are small in magnitude relative to price and income effects. Any favourable effects on the demands of meat substitutes for a recall are offset by a more general negative effect on meat demand. The general negative effect indicates a shift out of meat to non-meat consumption goods.

Date: 2004
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DOI: 10.1080/0003684042000233113

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