INFORMATION EFFECTS ON CONSUMERS' WILLINGNESS-TO-BUY: THE CASE OF SPOTTED-WING-DROSOPHILA-INFESTED BLUEBERRIES
The production of blueberries and other soft-skin fruits in the U.S. has been severely threatened by the spotted-wing-drosophila (SWD), an invasive pest. Using data from a choice experiment with over 1,300 subjects, this paper analyzes how information of SWD problems and strategies to solve them affect consumers’ purchase decisions on blueberries. The results indicate an insignificant decrease in consumer willingness-to-buy (WTB) after consumers are aware that blueberries might be infested with SWD. However, the results suggest a significant shift in consumer preference from choosing blueberries treated with lower to medium level of chemical pesticide application. Given that pesticide use and SWD information both provide negative information in consumer decision-making processes, our paper contributes to the literature by examining how two negative information messages jointly influence consumer purchase behavior. In addition, price discounts are estimated to quantitively measure consumer tradeoffs between product price and the use of pesticides to control for SWD. Our results provide valuable information for blueberry industry stakeholders and contribute to the literature of negative product information impacts on consumer demand.
Agriculture economics; Consumer Preferences; Negative information; Pesticide use; Spotted wing drosophila (SWD); Willingness to buy (WTB)
Gomez, Miguel I.
Schmit, Todd Michael
Applied Economics and Management
M.S., Applied Economics and Management
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis