An in-store valuation of local and organic apples: the role of social desirability

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Abstract

The authors analyze data from an in-store experiment in Colorado to estimate willingness to pay for “local” and “organic” labels in fresh apples, and investigate consumers' motivations. They found that the value of the “local” trumps that of “organic,” and motivations for valuing “local” correlate with social and public good consumer values. One methodological finding is that a simple scaling of the choice experiment offering, from 1 to 2 pounds of apples, induces a rather large change in the estimated premia. The authors explain this effect within the context of the bias induced by social desirability. [Econ Lit classification: Q120, Q130, Q180]. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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