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Abstract

We estimate the implicit prices consumers are willing to pay for country of origin labels, using hedonic price models and panel data on retail meat purchases in the United Kingdom (UK). We find that consumers place a significant value on the origin information, especially since the horsemeat incident in 2013. Both the horsemeat incident and resulting consumer response raise questions about the balance between mandatory and voluntary labelling. There is also the potential for unintended consequences for meat industry competitiveness and trade, which may affect consumer welfare negatively.

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