An experimental approach to valuing information

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Abstract

This article proposes a method to directly measure the value of information (VOI) conveyed in a label. Using data collected from a field experiment conducted in two grocery stores in Texas, we find the VOI contained in U.S. federally mandated country of origin labels for beef and pork is 36% lower using the new direct elicitation compared to the conventional approach. The mean value-of-origin information, in the context of our experiment, ranges from $0.016 to $1.08 per pound of steak/chop purchased, depending on the valuation method used and assumptions about labeling knowledge and average volume purchased per choice. The VOI is substantively influenced by ethnocentrism and meat consumption frequency.

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