Relational goods and direct purchase from farmers: estimating the value of the relationship between consumers and producers

Personal relationships can affect economic life and they may be even more important in Alternative Food Networks. We estimate the value of the relational good produced by the personal relationship in direct sales by farmers. This is relevant for assessing the importance of personal interaction in a typically economic behavior like food purchase. Drawing from theoretical considerations, we employ a stated preferences methodology to estimate the value consumers buying directly from farmers attach to their particular choice of vendor. We estimated a difference-in-utility model and a model based on the valuation function, using data from a consumer survey in open-air markets in four towns in Piedmont Region (Italy). Contingent on the chosen model, the average value is 10-12 percent of the consumers’ expenditure for fruits and vegetables, and up to 1.2-1.3 percent of their overall income.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
C5; D1; Q13

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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