Consumers' Short- and Long-Term Response to "Mad Cow": Beef Consumption and Willingness-to-Pay for Organic Beef in Italy
This paper aims at assessing: 1) consumers' habits concerning beef consumption and their responses to the BSE both immediately and at a longer term; 2) consumers' attitudes and willingness to pay for organic beef, an obvious alternative to regular beef in terms of safety. It is based on two random telephone surveys, the first one conducted in 2001 (few months after the BSE crisis) and the second one in 2003. The analysis shows that though the effect of the BSE crisis has weakened along with time distance, it left some permanent signs in consumers' behaviour. The analysis of the effect of the time distance from the BSE crisis on consumers' attitudes towards organic beef leads to the main conclusion that the demand for organic beef reduced, but that in the meantime it became more inelastic.
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