This study examines two different strategies with respect to managing the order in which information about genetically modified (GM) technology would reach and impact consumers of edamame, often referred to as the "vegetable soybean". Edamame are soybeans harvested while the beans are young and soft. We capture consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for unlabeled edamame, non-GM edamame, and GM edamame using a non-hypothetical random n th price auction. We elicit consumers' valuation for each edamame product before and after introducing information, and test two strategies where the order of providing positive and negative information is reversed. The results suggest that negative information affects WTP to a much greater extent than positive information. Hence a strategy to proactively deal with eventual negative press about GM technology did not lead to a different result than a strategy that would react to or attempt to thwart negative information with positive information at a later date. These findings suggest that it would be difficult to introduce new GM edamame as edible products in the market as marginally negative preconceptions about GM at the time of the experiment were easier to reinforce with negative information than to combat with positive information about GM.
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© 2018 Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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