Transition of Consumer's Evaluation on Radioactive Contamination of Agricultural Products in Japan

On March 11, 2011, the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake wreaked havoc across northeastern Japan. The disaster caused a serious nuclear accident at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, which led to radiation leakage across northern and eastern Japan. Concerns over the radioactive contamination of food have grown among consumers since the accident. The Japanese government has issued certain legal guidelines for withdrawing food from markets. However, the demand for agricultural products from Fukushima Prefecture and neighboring areas decreased because of contamination concerns. In this paper, the research estimated consumer WTA of spinach from Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures using the data collected by internet surveys conducted from March 2011 to February 2012 of married women living in the Tokyo and Osaka metropolitan areas. In the estimate this research divided the WTA into two parts: 1) health risk evaluation, the evaluation of products based on health risk from radioactive contamination, and 2) origin evaluation, based on the origin of products without contamination. The main results are as follows: (1) Consumer evaluations were different between the Tokyo and Osaka metropolitan areas. The health risk evaluation was similar in both areas; however, the origin evaluation was different between the areas. (2) Level of contamination-WTA curves should be concave and the effect of the change of level of contamination diminishes gradually. The results indicate that consumers' evasion toward agricultural food with fear of contamination is still strong and sticky.

Variant title:
Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Journal Article
PURL Identifier:
Published in:
Journal of Rural Economics, Volume 85, Number 3
Page range:
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-06-11

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)