Effects and Value of Verifiable Information in a Controversial Market: Evidence from Lab Auctions of Genetically Modified Food

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2006-11-01
Authors
Rousu, Matthew
Shogren, Jason
Tegene, Abebayehu
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Abstract

Food products containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients have entered the market over the past decade. The biotech industry and environmental groups have disseminating conflicting private information about GM foods. This paper develops a unique methodology for valuing independent third-party information in such a setting and applies this method to consumers’ willingness to pay for food products that might be GM. Data are collected from real consumers in an auction market setting with randomized information and labeling treatments. The average value of third-party information per lab participant is small, but the public good value across U.S. consumers is shown to be quite large.

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