Date of Graduation

8-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Dr. Eric Wailes

Committee Member

Dr. Michael Popp

Second Committee Member

Wim Verbeke

Abstract

Climate change is an issue of growing importance around the globe. As global population increases so does attention focused on human contributions to climate change. One major way humans contribute to climate change is through our diets. Agricultural production is a major source of global greenhouse emissions. It has been estimated that food production is responsible for a large majority of the methane and nitrous oxide which is emitted into our atmosphere each year. Carbon footprint labeling has been developed to give consumers a way to lower their footprint and help lower emissions of greenhouse gasses. At least one retailer, Tesco, in the UK has adopted carbon footprint labeling and affixes them to a large selection of consumer items sold in their stores. Although it can't be assumed that everyone will adopt or even utilize carbon labeling there are things that can be done to encourage adoption and utilization. The main goal of this thesis was to determine what factors lead to a change in consumption or purchasing behavior in favor of a carbon label for respondents from the University of Arkansas in the United States and the University of Ghent in Belgium. Although the respondents sampled for this survey were not representative of the overall populations of either Arkansas or Ghent Belgium their responses did exhibit similarities with the literature. In particular, respondents with higher Perceived Consumer Effectiveness scores were more willing to pay more for a carbon label, regardless of the amount of increase or decrease of the footprint. Also, other significant constructs such as Subjective Knowledge and environmental belief proved to have similar effects on respondents sampled from Arkansas

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