Consumer choice between organically (without pesticides) and conventionally grown produce is examined. Exploratory focus-group discussions and questionnaires (N=43) suggest that individuals who purchase organically grown produce believe it is substantially less hazardous that the conventional alternative and are willing to pay significant premiums to obtain it (a median 50% above the cost of conventional produce). The value of risk reduction implied by this incremental willingness to pay is not high relative to other risks, since the perceived risk reduction is relatively large. Organic-produce consumers also appear more likely than conventional-produce consumers to mitigate other ingestion-related risks (e.g., contaminated drinking water) but less likely to use automobile seatbelts.
Originally published in: Risk Analysis, v. 10, no. 3, September 1990, pp. 367-374.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.