Skip to content

Lucia A. Reisch, Cass R. Sunstein & Micha Kaiser, What Do People Want to Know? Information Avoidance and Food Policy Implications, 102 Food Pol'y (2021).

Abstract: What information would people like to have? What information would they prefer to avoid? How does the provision of information bear on welfare? Representative surveys in eleven nations find that substantial percentages of people do not want to receive information even when it bears on health, sustainability, and consumer welfare. People’s willingness to pay for information, contingent on their wanting it, is mostly higher than people’s willingness to pay not to receive information, contingent on their not wanting it. We develop a model and estimate the welfare effects. We find substantial benefits and costs, with the former outweighing the latter.