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Abstract

This study estimates Canadian consumers' willingness to pay for food safety improvements and identifies systematic misassessments of food-borne risks. Non-hypothetical experimental auctions were used to elicit consumer valuations of food safety improvement. Consistent with behavioural research, results suggest that subjects generally overestimate the likelihood of becoming ill due to food-borne disease relative to scientifically-estimated odds. Subjects were willing to pay a positive amount to reduce food-safety risk. Risk reductions' valuations increased with higher initial risk, supporting arguments of diminishing marginal value for risk reductions.

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