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Paper #1571

Consumers’ costly responses to product-harm crises
Rosa Ferrer Zarzuela i Helena Perrone
Juny 2017
Using an ideal setting from a major food safety crisis, we estimate a full demand model for the unsafe product and its substitutes and recover consumers' preference parameters. Counterfactual exercises quantify the relevance of di erent mechanisms -changes in safety perceptions, idiosyncratic tastes, nutritional characteristics, and prices-driving consumers' response. We find that consumers' reaction is limited by their taste for the product and its nutritional characteristics. Due to the costs associated with switching away from the a ected product, the decline in demand following a product-harm crisis tends to understate the true weight of such events in consumers' utility. Indeed, we nd that a large fraction of consumers are unresponsive to the crisis even when they significantly downgrade their product safety perception. For an accurate assessment of the crisis, managerial strategies should therefore account for how di erent demand drivers bind consumers' substitution patterns.
Paraules clau:
Food safety, demand estimation, scanner data, idiosyncratic utility parameters, nutritional preferences
Àrea de Recerca:
Economia de l'Empresa i Organització Industrial / Economia Laboral, Pública, de Desenvolupament i de la Salut

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