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Title:The impact of information on animal product consumption
Author(s):Hennessy, Sean R
Advisor(s):Crost, Ben
Contributor(s):Ellison, Brenna; Winter-Nelson, Alex
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Consumers' dietary preferences for animal products such as meat, dairy, and eggs carry a profound influence on environmental sustainability, public health, and animal rights. While shifting preferences towards plant products is important to many organizations working across those three fields, there are not many peer-reviewed studies available concerning the most effective methods of doing so. This paper describes an impact evaluation of one campaign method for dietary change – distributing factual leaflets modeled after those used by animal advocacy organizations worldwide – in a campus setting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The results could help answer a significant question: in a Midwestern United States school, what is the impact of distributing leaflets that describe the benefits of a plant-based diet on the recipients' consumption of animal products? Further, the study reflects on a more general question in consumer economics: can a single information treatment significantly impact the composition of food demand? I find there was insufficient evidence that the leaflets impacted animal product consumption; however, the results might not direct organizations away from leafleting as an effective technique for advocacy. Instead I recommend that researchers conduct additional independent studies with improved research methods to be published in academic journals, especially given that it appears a larger sample size is required to detect an impact due to the high rate of sample attrition in email surveys.
Issue Date:2016-07-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Sean Hennessy
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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