Promoting Organic Food: Information Policy Versus Production Subsidy

In developed countries governments aim to increase the market share of organic products. Assuming that organic farming creates a positive externality, we address the question of how this environmental benefit can be internalized best. Using the concept of heterogeneous producers and consumers we compare two policy options to enhance organic supply and demand with respect to their efficiency and distributional effect: First, we analyze the effect of a supply-side oriented policy like a subsidy on organic production. Second, we compare this policy measure to a demand-side oriented information policy, which aims to enhance the acceptance and identification of an organic food label. Third, we assume a mix of both policy measures. The main findings of this paper are that conventional consumers and organic producers and consumers experience a gain in welfare. The efficiency of any policy measure considered strongly depends on the utility enhancement experienced by organic consumers due to an information policy and the costs of transferring the information to the consumer.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
D61; D62; L15; Q18
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Contributed Paper

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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