Consumer Willingness-to-Pay for Genetically Modified Potatoes in Ireland: An Experimental Auction Approach

Fiona Thorne, John A.Sean Fox, Ewen Mullins, Michael Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is recognized that many consumers are skeptical about genetically modified (GM) foods. Yet less is known about the extent to which consumers may purchase GM food products given suitable price positioning and marketing information on nonprice attributes of the products. In this study, we examine consumer acceptance of GM late blight resistant potatoes in Ireland. Our analysis uses an experimental auction methodology that facilitates positive and negative bids to provide a more complete revelation of preferences. Results show that a majority of participants preferred conventional potatoes to GM potatoes. Favorable information about GM increased subjects’ valuations of GM potatoes. After being informed about potential economic and health benefits, up to two-thirds of our subjects indicated that they would choose GM potatoes at a 20% price discount, while 14% of subjects would still reject GM potatoes at any price. Higher levels of education, greater familiarity with GM, and the presence of children in the household were associated with lower valuation of the GM product. [EconLit citations: C91; D12].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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