Does Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Food Grant Consumers the Right to Know? Evidence from an Economic Experiment

35 Pages Posted: 11 May 2008 Last revised: 12 Sep 2018

See all articles by Astrid Dannenberg

Astrid Dannenberg

University of Gothenburg

Sara Scatasta

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research; Wageningen UR - Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group

Bodo Sturm

Leipzig University of Applied Sciences - HTWK Leipzig

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

Opponents of the voluntary labeling scheme for genetically modified (GM) food products often argue that consumers have the right to know and therefore advocate mandatory labeling. In this paper we argue against this line of reasoning. Using experimental auctions conducted with a sample of the resident population of Mannheim, Germany, we show that the quality of the informational signal generated by a mandatory labeling scheme is affected by the number of labels in the market. If there are two labels, one for GM products and one for non-GM products, mandatory and voluntary labeling schemes generate a similar degree of uncertainty about the quality of products that do not carry a label.

Keywords: labeling, genetically modified foods, consumer preferences, experimental auctions

JEL Classification: C91, Q18, Q51

Suggested Citation

Dannenberg, Astrid and Scatasta, Sara and Sturm, Bodo, Does Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Food Grant Consumers the Right to Know? Evidence from an Economic Experiment (2008). Zentrum fuer Europaeische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW) - Centre for European Economic Research No. 08-29, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1131242 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1131242

Astrid Dannenberg (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Sara Scatasta

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Wageningen UR - Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group ( email )

P.O. Box 8130
Wageningen, 6700 EW
Netherlands

Bodo Sturm

Leipzig University of Applied Sciences - HTWK Leipzig ( email )

Leipzig
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
210
Abstract Views
1,413
rank
172,355
PlumX Metrics