Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Agricultural Economics. 2021;1–17.

DOI: 10.1111/agec.12671


U.S. government work


This study empirically tests the relative importance that U.S. consumers place on immediate and long-term food and non-food risks. We use a best–worst survey method to elicit relative rankings and weights for each risk in terms of its perceived cost and likelihood. Immediate food risks are perceived to be more costly but less likely than long-term food risks. Immediate non-food risks are perceived to be both more costly and likely than long-term non-food risks. Overall, food risks are perceived to be less expensive than non-food risks. The combination of perceived cost and likelihood is used to define a measure of relative risk value. Immediate food, immediate non-food, and long-term non-food risks generally have greater relative risk values than long-term food risks. On average, individuals overperceive the likelihoods, costs, and risk values of both food and nonfood risks relative to actuarial data. These results are consistent across different parametric and non-parametric estimationmethods. The results have important implications for insurance rate setting, food and non-food risk interventions, and public health campaigns.