Journal Article

Measuring the Welfare Effects of Nutrition Information

Mario F. Teisl, Nancy E. Bockstael and Alan Levy

in American Journal of Agricultural Economics

Published on behalf of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Volume 83, issue 1, pages 133-149
Published in print February 2001 | ISSN: 0002-9092
Published online February 2001 | e-ISSN: 1467-8276 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0002-9092.00142
Measuring the Welfare Effects of Nutrition Information

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

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Cost/benefit analysis justifies regulations altering the amount of health-related information presented to consumers. The current method of benefit analysis, the cost of avoided illness, is limited; it assumes the benefits of health-related information are adequately represented by changes in illnesses. The manuscript develops a benefit estimation method to measure the welfare impacts of providing nutrient information. Nutrient labeling significantly affects purchase behaviour but may not lead to increased consumption of health foods. Nutrient labeling may increase welfare without any change in health risk. Thus, the cost of avoided illness approach can underestimate the social benefits of providing nutrient information.

Keywords: cost of ignorance; labeling; nutrition; value of information; D180; D610; I120

Journal Article.  0 words. 

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

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