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Can foods produced with new plant engineering techniques succeed in the marketplace? A case study of apples

Stéphan Marette (), John Beghin (), Anne-Célia Disdier () and Eliza Mojduszka ()
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Anne-Célia Disdier: PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement
Eliza Mojduszka: USDA - United States Department of Agriculture

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Abstract: New Plant Engineering Techniques (NPETs) have path-breaking potential to improve foods by strengthening their production, increasing resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, and by bettering their appearance and nutritional quality. Can NPETs-based foods succeed in the marketplace? Providing answers to this question, we first develop a simple economic model for R&D investment in food innovations based on NPETs and traditional hybridization methods, to identify which technology emerges under various parameter characterizations and associated economic welfare outcomes. The framework combines the cost of food innovation with consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for the new food, highlighting the uncertain and costly nature of R&D processes as well as the role of consumer acceptance of technology, and the cost of ignorance, and regret, if consumers are not fully informed on the technology used to generate the new food. We then apply the framework to a case of NPETs-based new apples using recently elicited WTP of French and US consumers. Our simulation results suggest that NPETs may be socially beneficial under full information, and when the probability of success under NPETs is significantly higher than under traditional hybridization. Otherwise, the innovation based on traditional hybridization is socially optimal. A probable collapse of conventional apples raises the social desirability of new apples generated by NPETs and traditional hybridization.

Keywords: New plant engineering techniques (NPETs); Gene editing (GE); Consumer information; Willingness to pay; Food innovation; Industrial organization; Apple (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03167477
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Working Paper: Can foods produced ith new plant engineering techniques succeed in the marketplace? A case study of apples (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Can foods produced with new plant engineering techniques succeed in the marketplace? A case study of apples (2021)
Working Paper: Can foods produced with new plant engineering techniques succeed in the marketplace? A case study of apples (2021)
Working Paper: Can foods produced with new plant engineering techniques succeed in the marketplace? A case study of apples (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Can Food Produced with New Plant Engineering Techniques Succeed in the Marketplace? A Case Study of Apples (2021) Downloads
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