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date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article traces consumers' reluctance toward new technologies in the food domain and the nature of controversies. It argues that there are economic considerations in discussion of public policy on controversies. This article seeks to address the issues of controversy, the market concerns by such problems, and the reasons that controversies have become so prominent in many food markets. It further clarifies how to approach the question of an optimal policy by studying when a regulator should promote labels compared to other tools such as standards or a ban. This article presents some of the main contributions in both the empirical and theoretical literature, so as to provide economists or policymakers with resources and help to inform their decisions. It then discusses methods of quantifying the welfare impact of a ban or label on the controversial good. It concludes with a discussion of the implications for public policy.

Keywords: consumers' reluctance, ban, controversies, public policy, food markets

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