Welfare impacts of new demand-enhancing agricultural products: The case of Honeycrisp apples

Yanghao Wang, Metin Çakır

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Agricultural research and development programs on new demand-enhancing products have become increasingly important over the past decade. Large numbers of new agricultural products have been developed and commercialized in the United States to meet consumers’ increasingly diverse expectations for food quality. However, little is known about their economic benefits. Focusing on the apple market, we investigate the welfare impacts of the introduction of Honeycrisp apples in a market equilibrium framework. We use market data on apple sales from 61 cities across the United States between 2009 and 2015. We find the introduction of Honeycrisp increased consumer welfare, which is mainly explained by the increased number of total apple varieties. We also find that the introduction of Honeycrisp apples has increased overall market size and total apple sales. To extrapolate our results to the entire U.S. apple market, we perform a back-of-the-envelope analysis and find that the introduction of Honeycrisp apples has increased total consumer welfare by about 859 million dollars during the study period. This corresponds to approximately 19% of the annual average domestic expenditures on public food and agricultural R&D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-457
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural Economics (United Kingdom)
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Keywords

  • agricultural R&D
  • apple market
  • consumer welfare
  • demand-enhancing innovation
  • new product
  • random coefficient logit

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