The consequences of a human food pathogen vaccine on food demand: a calibrated partial-equilibrium analysis of the U.S. beef market

Human vaccines against several common foodborne pathogens are being developed and could substantially alter consumer and producer behaviour in the markets for foods commonly afflicted by these pathogens. To understand the possible impacts of such an innovation, we derive and calibrate a partial-equilibrium model using parameters for consumer vaccine uptake from stated-preference work under an array of assumptions concerning industry moral hazard, consumer awareness and alternative preventive effort exercised by consumers. We simulate three scenarios in the U.S. beef sector: the introduction of a vaccine, the tightening of pathogen standards for beef production and the simultaneous introduction of both vaccinations and tighter standards. Our simulation shows that all policies can increase aggregate surplus given most calibrations; though, the largest effects are attributed to vaccine introductions, which reduce expected damages from foodborne illness among vaccinated consumers without shifting firm costs. However, unaware consumers and aware consumers who choose not to vaccinate experience no change in expected damages when a vaccine is introduced but face a higher price of food because of the stronger demand of food from vaccinated consumers.

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Journal Article
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Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 56, Issue 3
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-28

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