Date of Award

12-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Economics

Advisor

Carpio, Carlos

Committee Member

Willis , David B

Committee Member

Boys , Kathryn A

Abstract

The objective of this study is to evaluate Upstate South Carolina consumers' willingness to pay for a system in which local food banks and local farms support one another. The proposed system will be based on local food consumers paying a price premium for locally grown agricultural products, and this premium is then donated to local food banks. The food banks would act as intermediaries to improve sustainability of local farms and in the long term, this system is expected to provide external benefits to local economic development. The study uses a consumer demand mail survey to record opinions about, and demand for, locally grown products, local food banks, and a set of possible arrangements linking the two together. A conjoint analysis framework is used to determine upstate South Carolina residents' willingness to pay for the system through a donation built into the price. Consumers were found to be willing to pay 18% more for locally grown products and 5% more for products including a donation. Similarly their WTP for fruits and vegetables versus animal products was 22.9% and 14.6% respectively. These findings will be useful when implementing the price premiums on specific fruits, vegetables, and meat products.

Included in

Economics Commons

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