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A Reference-Price-Informed Experiment to Assess Consumer Demand for Beef with a Reduced Carbon Footprint

AAEA Board of Director and member release new research in AJAE

Severe droughts have drastically affected beef production in some of the major production areas in the U.S. including Texas. Parallel to this, consumers are increasingly demanding more sustainable meat options, with some advocacy groups even pursuing legal routes to hinder beef from being sold as climate friendly. As such the beef industry is facing increasing production pressure making it important to provide realistic insights into the market potential of verification schemes such as the one recently approved by USDA to ensure optimal allocations of investments.

In the new article “A Reference-Price-Informed Experiment to Assess Consumer Demand for Beef with a Reduced Carbon Footprint” published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Valerie Kilders from Purdue University and Vincenzina Caputo from Michigan State University and AAEA Board of Directors, tie together empirical and methodological elements.

The authors say “The implications of this study are significant for both the beef industry and climate change mitigation efforts. Without a market premium for low carbon beef, producers may have little incentive to invest in technologies and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, hindering the transition to a more sustainable and climate-friendly agriculture sector. Policymakers may need to explore additional measures, such as regulatory standards or financial incentives, to encourage the adoption of low carbon practices in the beef industry.”

They continue, “This study also impacts the food industry as it goes beyond creating a new modeling approach for demand analysis. By incorporating market price fluctuations into consumer experiments, the study introduces new ways to incorporate market price fluctuation over time and locations in demand analysis, and making economic experiments valid tools to study market shocks as for example price inflation.”

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ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

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