Habitual choice strategy, poverty and urban consumer demand for biofortified iron beans in developing countries: An application of random-effects double hurdle model
This article (PDF) scrutinizes the urban consumer demand for nutritious foods in the context of bio-fortified iron beans as a public health intervention in Africa. The increasing urbanization process in developing countries creates current and future challenges for the global food system to deliver high quality nutritious foods and provide equitable access for the urban poor. This paper examines the role of habit, poverty and information for urban consumer demand of nutritious foods. The authors determined the consumer’s willingness to pay (WTP) for the nutritional value of bio-fortified iron beans and a random-effects double hurdle econometric approach to identify the magnitude of treatment effects. The provision of information on the nutritional value of iron translates into significant premiums for the iron bean varieties. An elimination of participatory fees, which is commonly used in experimental auctions, provides an alternative practical approach of mimicking market realities in the field and of identifying hypothetical bias in auction bids. Results suggest that poverty plays a significant role in consumer demand, thus it has a potential to widen the access gap for iron beans in urban areas in the absence of an equitable pricing system.