An Empirical Investigation of the Impacts of Mandatory Warning Labels on the Demand of Oysters in the United States Public Deposited

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  • In response to growing concerns about illness and deaths associated with Vibrio Vulnificus, California initiated a program in March 1991 that required anyone selling oysters to notify potential consumers that the “consumption of raw oysters can cause serious illness and death among people with liver disease, chronic illness, or weakened immune systems.” This mandatory warning label, followed shortly thereafter by similar warnings in other states, received extensive media coverage. The primary objective of this study was to consider the impact of mandatory warning labels within the context of a complete demand system. The demand of Gulf, Pacific, Chesapeake, and imported oysters for the period 1985(1) to 2006(4) was estimated using an inverse almost ideal demand system (IAIDS). Results indicate that warning labels lowered the demand on Gulf and Chesapeake products and increased demand for Pacific and imported products. Elasticity estimates suggest that Gulf, Pacific, and imported oysters are gross substitute products. The estimated cross price flexibilities suggested that the Gulf and Chesapeake products have strong quantity-substitution effect on other products; implying that the prices of Chesapeake and the imported products are highly influenced by changes in harvests of the Gulf and Pacific products.
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  • Dedah, Cheikhna, Walter R. Keithly and Richard F. Kazmierczak. 2008. An Empirical Investigation of the Impacts of Mandatory Warning Labels on the Demand of Oysters in the United States. 11 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 22-25, 2008, Nha Trang, Vietnam: Achieving a Sustainable Future: Managing Aquaculture, Fishing, Trade and Development. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2008.
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