Moon, Wanki

By: Moon, Wanki; Balasubramanian, Siva K.; Rimal, Arbindra
In a survey of UK consumers, we elicited their willingness to accept (WTA) a discount for GM foods and willingness to pay (WTP) a premium for non-GM foods in order to assess their valuation on the non-GM characteristic in food products. Mean WTA is found to exceed mean WTP, suggesting the valuation of the non-GM characteristic reflects an endowment effect, imperfect substitutability between GM and non-GM foods, or both. Regression results show that perceived risks (benefits) associated with GM foods significantly increase (decrease) WTA and WTP estimates. Additional regression models using the difference between WTA and WTP as the dependent variable indicate that risk (benefit) perceptions increased (decreased) the discrepancy between WTA and WTP estimates. The role of risk perceptions in explaining this discrepancy is congruent with consumers' propensity toward loss aversion as predicted by the endowment effect hypothesis and prospect theory.
By: Moon, Wanki; Balasubramanian, Siva K.; Rimal, Arbindra
A two-stage decision model is developed to assess the effect of perceived soy health benefits on consumers' decisions with respect to soy food. The first stage captures whether or not to consume soy food, while the second stage reflects how often to consume. A conceptual/analytical framework is also employed, combining Lancaster's characteristics model and Fishbein's multi-attribute model. Results show that perceived soy health benefits significantly influence both decision stages. Further, consumers' negative perceptions regarding soy (unappetizing taste and inconvenience) have a substantially greater impact on soy consumption behavior than their perceptions about soy health benefits. This finding carries significant implications for the soy industry. Additionally, this health benefit perception mediates the effect of general health-related factors such as knowledge, motivation, and awareness on soy consumption behavior. Our results also underscore the importance of current FDA-regulated health claims in stimulating consumer demand for soy foods.