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Abstract

Paper explores Italian consumer appreciation for health-related and environmental friendly attributes of whole-wheat pasta and compares two approaches in the information provision: a “holistic” approach (inform consumer on the overall product characteristics) with an “attribute-specific” one. A modified version of the attribute-based referenda model (ABR) has been estimated on sequence of two dichotomous choice questions randomly administered to a sample of households, starting only with a one attribute version (“adding” treatment) or the complete product one (“subtracting”). Results suggest that taste and habits are great barriers to overcome, since only whole-wheat pasta consumers are willing to pay for the health-related attribute. It gets worse for the environmental attribute for which people are not willing to pay even if informed on the environmental-friendly method of production. However, the way in which information is provided, holistically or attribute-based, is important, with higher value attached to attributes when evaluated in the subtracting context, supporting prospect theory and endowment effect.

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