Rousu, Matthew C.

By: Colson, Gregory; Huffman, Wallace E.; Rousu, Matthew C.
This paper assesses consumers’ acceptance of nutritionally enhanced vegetables using a series of auction experiments administered to a random sample of adult consumers. Evidence suggests that consumers are willing to pay significantly more for fresh produce with labels signaling enhanced levels of antioxidants and vitamin C achieved by moving genes from within the species, as opposed to across species. However, this premium is significantly affected by diverse information treatments injected into the experiments.
By: Corrigan, Jay R.; Rousu, Matthew C.
Recent evidence suggests that participants' misunderstanding of experimental auction mechanism can systematically bias auction results. We present a simple technique for testing whether field auction mechanism and, by extension, whether auction bids provide an unbiased estimate of participants' willingness to pay.
By: Rousu, Matthew C.; Shogren, Jason F.
Scientists and advocates can disagree on the value of new products or technologies, such as growth hormones, genetically modified organisms, and food irradiation. Both sides of the debate disseminate information to the public hoping to influence public opinion. This study assesses the economic value of both pro and anti public information using food irradiation as a case study. The value of information sources is estimated in isolation and in combination. In isolation, the results indicate each set of information has value. In combination, only the anti-irradiation information is found to have net positive value (persuading some consumers to purchase non-irradiated products). Pro-irradiation information worked to decrease the value of anti-irradiation information by 68% per person.
By: Huffman, Wallace E.; Shogren, Jason F.; Rousu, Matthew C.; Tegene, Abebayehu
With the continuing controversy over genetically modified (GM) foods, some groups advocate mandatory labeling of these products, while other groups oppose labeling. An important issue is how GM labels affect consumers' willingness to pay for these food products in the market. Using a statistically based economics experiment with adult consumers as subjects, we examine how willingness to pay changes for three food products--vegetable oil, tortilla chips, and potatoes--when GM labels are introduced. Participants in the experiments discounted GM-labeled foods by approximately 14% relative to their standard-labeled counterparts. The evidence also showed that sequencing of food labels affects willingness to pay, and that randomizing treatments is an important methodological feature in experiments of willingness to pay.