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Abstract

In a mail survey of shellfish consumers in the U. S. Northeast, a conjoint experiment was conducted where respondents were asked to rank oyster alternatives that differed on the following attributes: source information, price, and inspection information. Ordered probit analysis of all responses revealed that inspection information was the most important attribute, followed by source information, and price. Respondents most preferred oysters that were farm- raised, priced at $3.49/oz., and inspected by the Food and Drug Administration. Individual part- worths were also estimated using ordinary least squares regression. Logit analysis revealed that the probability of inspection information being the most-valued attribute increased when the respondent believed that farm-raised shellfish are harvested in cleaner water than those caught in the wild. The probability of source information being the most important attribute increased when the respondent believed that farm-raised shellfish are safer than wild-caught.

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