Consumer Preferences Before and After a Food Safety Scare: An Experimental Analysis of the 2010 Egg Recall

In August 2010, more than half a billion eggs were recalled in the U.S. because of a Salmonella outbreak. This study examines the effect of the recall with a unique pair of auction experiments investigating willingness to pay (WTP) for conventional and organic eggs, one conducted shortly before and one after the recall with the same participants. In addition to the before and after bids, participants bid again after a negative information or balanced information treatment about the event. Accompanying surveys showed consumers had a high level of awareness of the recall but less knowledge of specific details, and viewed information on egg farm conditions as very important in their WTP. While there were no significant before and after differences, WTP for organic eggs significantly increased in the negative information treatment, and balanced information had a positive effect on consumer WTP for conventional eggs.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
D12; M31; Q13
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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