Identifying Food Labeling Effects on Consumer Behavior

31 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2018 Last revised: 29 Apr 2020

See all articles by Sebastian Araya

Sebastian Araya

University of Chile - Center of Applied Economics (CEA)

Andres Elberg

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - School of Management

Carlos Noton

Dept of Industrial Engineering - University of Chile

Daniel Schwartz

University of Chile

Date Written: November 16, 2019

Abstract

We examine a large-scale mandatory food labeling regulation to identify its effects on consumer behavior. We take advantage of exogenous variation in product-labeling status arising from the gradual and asynchronous introduction of labeled products on store shelves many weeks before the regulation deadline. We combine individual-level scan data from a large retailer with on-the-shelf information on the actual warning-label status. We find that warning labels decrease purchase probabilities on breakfast cereals, but have no impact on chocolates or cookies. The effect is larger on medium-low socioeconomic groups and households with children. Results are consistent with information disclosure influencing consumers' choices when the advertised information is unexpected.

Keywords: Food Labeling, Obesity, Public Policy, Consumer Behavior, Food Information

JEL Classification: D12, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Araya, Sebastian and Elberg, Andres and Noton, Carlos and Schwartz, Daniel, Identifying Food Labeling Effects on Consumer Behavior (November 16, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3195500 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3195500

Sebastian Araya

University of Chile - Center of Applied Economics (CEA) ( email )

Republica 701
Casilla 2777
Santiago
Chile

Andres Elberg

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - School of Management ( email )

Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860
Santiago, RM 7820436
Chile

Carlos Noton (Contact Author)

Dept of Industrial Engineering - University of Chile ( email )

Beauchef 851
Santiago, RM
Chile

HOME PAGE: http://www.dii.uchile.cl/~cnoton/

Daniel Schwartz

University of Chile ( email )

Beauchef 851
Santiago, R. Metropolitana
Chile

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