Date of Award

8-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Economics and Statistics

Advisor

Carpio, Carlos E.

Committee Member

Carpio, Carlos

Committee Member

Willis, David

Committee Member

Hill, Hoke

Abstract

This study analyzed the effect of label information on farmers' herbicide choices. Two approaches were used as theoretical framework for the analysis: a hedonic model using the household production theory and a discrete choice random utility model. Models based on label information were compared with a model estimated with information from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS's). The results indicate that health and environmental statements displayed on pesticide labels reduce significantly the probability of selection. In addition, the statistical results suggest that farmers' understanding of the human safety and environmental characteristics of herbicides is more in line with the information displayed on the labels than with the information contained in the MSDS's. This finding has important implications for estimation and use of pesticide risk indices because they are very sensitive to model specifications based on different assumptions regarding farmers' knowledge of herbicides' human and environmental characteristics.

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