Moral intensity and willingness to pay concerning farm animal welfare issues and the implications for agricultural policy

An experimental survey was undertakento explore the links between thecharacteristics of a moral issue, the degree ofmoral intensity/moral imperative associatedwith the issue (Jones, 1991), and people'sstated willingness to pay (wtp) for policy toaddress the issue. Two farm animal welfareissues were chosen for comparison and thecontingent valuation method was used to elicitpeople's wtp. The findings of the surveysuggest that increases in moral characteristicsdo appear to result in an increase in moralintensity and the degree of moral imperativeassociated with an issue. Moreover, there was apositive link between moral intensity/moralimperative associated with an issue andpeople's stated wtp for policy to address theissue. The paper discusses the relevance of thefindings of the survey in the context of thedebate concerning the relationship betweenmoral and economic values and the use of thecontingent valuation method to estimatepeople's wtp of policy options with moraldimensions.
Keywords farm animal welfare  moral intensity  willingness to pay
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DOI 10.1023/A:1015036617385
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Terence J. Centner (2010). Limitations on the Confinement of Food Animals in the United States. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (5):469-486.

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