A Taste for Safer Beef? How Much Does Consumers’ Perceived Risk Influence Willingness to Pay for Country-of-Origin Labeled Beef



Past studies have shown that country of origin labeling (COOL) affects consumers’ demand for food products. However, besides the rationale of ethnocentrism or the desire to support domestic farmers, the underlying motivation for such behavior is not well understood. This study assesses consumers’ preferences for imported and domestic beef through a choice experiment. We found that willingness to pay for country-of-origin labeled imported beefsteak is associated with (a) consumers’ perceptions of the categorical risk from consuming beef, (b) consumers’ risk aversion to risks from beef consumption, and (c) consumers’ perceptions of the food-safety level of imported beef. Results from this study suggest that the advantage of domestic beef over imported beef can be partly explained by consumers’ risk handling behavior. [EconLit citations: Q130].