Estimating Consumer Willingness To Pay To Reduce Food-Borne Risk

by James K. Hammitt

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This report analyzes consumer willingness to pay to reduce food-borne risks, focusing on consumer choice between organically and conventionally grown produce. It uses two alternative methodologies: a revealed preference analysis of actual market choices, and an exploratory contingent valuation survey administered to focus-group participants. Overall, the study confirms the possibility of deriving reasonable estimates of the additional value consumers place on organically grown produce. However, the extremely uncertain estimates of the risk avoided by choosing organically grown foods limits the ability to reliably estimate consumer willingness to pay for actual risk reduction.

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