Eliciting Non-hypothetical Willingness-to-pay for Novel Products An Application to Cultured Meat

Eliciting Non-hypothetical Willingness-to-pay for Novel Products: An Application to Cultured Meat

Eliciting Non-hypothetical Willingness-to-pay for Novel Products: An Application to Cultured Meat

Romain Espinosa, Nicolas Treich

Abstract

Estimating the demand for greener products may be challenging when these products are not yet on the market. We design an experiment to elicit the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for a novel product in a non-hypothetical way, despite the fact that the product is not marketed and thus cannot be delivered to participants. We consider a cultured meat product which is presented to participants using the producer’s advertising. The basic experimental device consists in eliciting (i) how much a participant is willing to pay for the product under uncertainty about product delivery, and (ii) her beliefs about the probability that the product will be actually delivered. In our sample of 158 French students, under 20% of participants never want to buy the product, and below 10% assign a probability of zero that the product will be delivered if purchased. The average WTP is fairly low, at about 3 Euros per 100 g. A number of factors increase (e.g., education and low meat consumption) or decrease (e.g., neophobia and disgust) this WTP. The simple exposure to the new meat substitute during this experiment reduces subjects’ pro-meat justifications. We investigate the external validity of our results using a hypothetical survey on a representative sample (N = 1200). We also discuss methodological issues such as deception and incentive compatibility.

Citation: Espinosa, R., Treich, N. (2023) Eliciting Non-hypothetical Willingness-to-pay for Novel Products: An Application to Cultured Meat. Environmental Resource Economics 85, 673–706

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