Using a Discrete Choice Experiment to Elicit Consumers’ WTP for Health Risk Reductions Achieved By Nanotechnology in the UK

We present research findings on consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for reductions in the level of foodborne health risks. The research addresses how such valuations are affected by the means of which the risk reduction is delivered and the methods of risk presentations used in choice tasks. In this case, the research has two treatments. In the first treatment, the comparison is between risk reductions achieved by an improvement in the food system in general (e.g., more stringent regulations and inspection regimes) within the slaughter and meat processing stages of the food chain, as opposed to a risk reduction achieved via innovations in food packaging using nanotechnology, which is the use of nanosensors in packaging. If there is a contamination in packaging, nanosensors reveal a colour change on the packaging material. In the second treatment, the comparison is between valuations of risk reductions in which reductions in risks are presented via absolute values and grids and absolute values together. Both comparisons are achieved via split sample Discrete Choice Experiment surveys. The difference between consumers’ valuations of foodborne risk reductions provides an implicit value for nanotechnology (i.e., WTP to avoid) and the effect of risk grids on choices people make. General results show the existence of heterogeneity in British consumers’ preferences. The effects of nanosensors and risk grids on consumers’ choices are not strong across the models. The valuations of health risk reductions show some variations across the models in both treatment groups.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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