Health Information and the Choice of Fish Species: An Experiment Measuring the Impact of Risk and Benefit Information

St├ęphan Marette, Jutta Roosen, Sandrine Blanchemanche, Philippe Verger
June 2007  [06-WP 421] (Revised)

An experiment was conducted in France to evaluate the impact of health information on consumers' choice between two different types of fish. Successive messages revealing risks (methylmercury) and benefits (omega-3s) of consuming the fish, along with consumption recommendations, were delivered. Results show a significant difference of reaction according to the order and type of information. The information about risks had a larger marginal impact on change in willingness to pay (WTP) than did the information about benefits. While the results show that detailed messages on risks/benefits, including recommendations for nutrition behavior, matter in the modification of WTP, 40% of respondents did not change their initial choices after the revelation of health information.

Keywords: experimental economics, fish consumption, health information, nutrition.

JEL classification: C9, D8, I1

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