Consumer impact of animal welfare regulation in the California poultry industry

William J. Allender, Timothy Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This study examines the consumer welfare impact of animal welfare legislation mandating cage-free egg production in California. We estimate California egg consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for cage-free eggs using household-level purchase data and compare the implied premium to higher production costs when calculating the potential change in consumer surplus. Our findings suggest that larger households and/or households with limited means are most likely to be affected. Furthermore, the implied welfare loss for consumers is approximately $106 million. Although consumers value cage-free eggs, higher production costs result in a net welfare loss to consumers. One implication of this finding is that a clear labeling practice may be a more efficient way to motivate animal welfare and non-cage systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-442
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010


  • Animal welfare regulation
  • California poultry
  • Egg prices
  • Egg supply
  • Hen housing
  • Mixed logit
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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