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Abstract

This study investigates the effect of media coverage on the consumer demand for pork chops and chicken filet in the course of the German dioxin scandal in 2011. A media index is constructed to account for the dynamics of the media coverage for the first nineteen calendar weeks in 2011. The response of the German households is estimated with a dynamic correlated random effect Tobit model based on weekly panel data provided by the GfK and data on media coverage provided by Lexis Nexis. Our dataset contains detailed information on purchasing transactions and socio-economic characteristics of the consumer households. The empirical results show that unobserved heterogeneity is important to consider when analyzing the determinants of demand in times of a scandal. For both meat products, media had a significant negative effect on the propensity to consume as well as the quantity purchased.

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