Market Acceptance of Animal Welfare-Improving Biotechnology: Gene Editing and Immunocastration in U.S. Pork

By: Ufer, Danielle ; Ortega, David L. ; Wolf, Christopher A. ; Swanson, Janice ; McKendree, Melissa
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Ufer, Danielle ; Ortega, David L. ; Wolf, Christopher A. ; Swanson, Janice ; McKendree, Melissa, Market Acceptance of Animal Welfare-Improving Biotechnology: Gene Editing and Immunocastration in U.S. Pork, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 47, Issue 2, May 2022, Pages 444-461

Given general social resistance to agricultural biotechnology, viability of novel applications that improve animal welfare depends on market acceptance. Using a BeckerÐDeGrootÐMarschak mechanism, we elicit willingness to pay (WTP) for pork produced using two animal welfare-improving biotechnologies. To evaluate U.S. consumer demand for these technologies, we model WTP premiums using a seemingly unrelated equations approach. Results indicate that negative attitudes toward biotechnology outweigh animal welfare benefits, though products still garner a premium due to heterogeneity in preferences. Findings support policies that balance the costs of regulatory approval with observed market acceptance and policies that accommodate animal welfare demands.