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Willingness to pay and moral stance: The case of farm animal welfare in Germany

Frey, Ulrich J and Pirscher, Frauke (2018) Willingness to pay and moral stance: The case of farm animal welfare in Germany. PLoS One. Public Library of Science (PLoS). doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202193. ISSN 1932-6203.

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This study examines the impact of ethical attitude on the willingness to pay for farm animal welfare improvement in Germany. Little is known about the pluralism of moral attitudes that may exist behind farm animal welfare issues and its relationship to customers' willingness to pay for it. Via a large survey (n = 1334) we are able to identify different moral dimensions by employing validated scales. We find utilitarian alongside deontological attitudes as well as a mixture of both. Thus, presupposing a standard moral attitude is too simple. This has implications for decision-making on markets, since the implicit normative assumptions of a utilitarian position in economics has to be critically assessed. Furthermore, we asked for the willingness to pay for various aspects of farm animal welfare improvement. We find significant positive correlations between willingness to pay and environmental concern, altruism and less apathy. Measured in Euro, a higher environmental concern has the strongest effect on WTP for all five moral scales. Outliers with higher bids are willing to pay almost five times for any aspect of farm animal welfare than the rest of the sample. A more detailed analysis of outliers demonstrates that market-based approaches have restrictions in capturing certain moral values. Moreover, the motivations behind zero bids reveal that moral concerns outweigh indifference towards animal welfare by far. This has implications how policy can be designed to serve people’s demand for higher animal welfare standards. Two other findings are of interest. First, we find a very high number of people assigning an intrinsic value to animals (90%). Second, zero bids and outlier treatment in WTP-studies deserves more careful consideration, since WTP-estimates are easily skewed by excluding these groups.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/124594/
Document Type:Article
Title:Willingness to pay and moral stance: The case of farm animal welfare in Germany
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Frey, Ulrich JUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9803-1336
Journal or Publication Title:PLoS One
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Keywords:animal welfare; decision making; behavior; willingness to pay
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Technology, Innovation and Society
HGF - Program Themes:Renewable Energy and Material Resources for Sustainable Futures - Integrating at Different Scales
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SY - Energy Systems Analysis
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment
Deposited By: Frey, Ulrich
Deposited On:20 Dec 2018 14:00
Last Modified:20 Dec 2018 14:00

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