Journal Article

Making the ‘right’ choice based on experiments: regulatory decisions for food and health

Jutta Roosen and Stéphan Marette

in European Review of Agricultural Economics

Volume 38, issue 3, pages 361-381
Published in print August 2011 | ISSN: 0165-1587
Published online June 2011 | e-ISSN: 1464-3618 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/erae/jbr026
Making the ‘right’ choice based on experiments: regulatory decisions for food and health

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  • Economics of Health
  • Welfare Economics
  • Household Behaviour and Family Economics

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This article shows how experiments revealing information about food quality and safety can contribute to regulatory debates on food and health. After detailing the motivations of regulation for the food sector, we underline the limits of theoretical welfare analysis. Despite challenges from behavioural economics, cost–benefit analysis using experimental results can complement theoretical analysis. In a brief review of laboratory and field experiments with food, we discuss their relative strengths and weaknesses and suggest an analytical approach of how to integrate experimental data into welfare analysis. An empirical application quantifies and compares the welfare impact of health information and a subsidy for fish.

Keywords: cost–benefit analysis; experimental economics; food choice; public policy; welfare analysis; D1; D6; I1

Journal Article.  7895 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics of Health ; Welfare Economics ; Household Behaviour and Family Economics

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