Caputo, V., Nayga, R. M., & Scarpa, R. (2013). Food miles or carbon emissions? Exploring labelling preference for food transport footprint with a stated choice study. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, published online on 14 JUN 2013.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7754
The ecological footprint of food transport can be communicated using carbon dioxide emissions (CO₂ label) or by providing information about both the length of time and the mileage travelled (food miles label). We use stated choice data to estimate conventional unobserved taste heterogeneity models and extend them to a specification that also addresses attribute nonattendance. The implied posterior distributions of the marginal willingness to pay values are compared graphically and are used in validation regressions. We find strong bimodality of taste distribution as the emerging feature, with different groups of subjects having low and high valuations for these labels. The best fitting model shows that CO₂ and food miles valuations are much correlated. CO₂ valuations can be high even for those respondents expressing low valuations for food miles. However, the reverse is not true. Taken together, the results suggest that consumers tend to value the CO₂ label at least as much and sometimes more than the food miles label.
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