Research

Peer Reviewed Publications

2.Consumer Willingness to Pay for Sustainability Attributes in Beer: A Choice Experiment Using Eco-Labels.” Agribusiness (2020). Coauthors: Carson J. Reeling, Nicole J. Olynk Widmar, and Jayson L. Lusk. link.

Commercial and regional brewers are increasingly investing in sustainability equipment that reduces input use, operating costs, and environmental impacts. These technologies often require prohibitively high upfront costs for microbreweries. One potential solution for these brewers is to market their product as sustainable and charge a premium to offset some of the costs. We undertake a stated preference choice experiment targeting a nationally representative sample of beer buyers and elicit preferences for multiple attributes related to sustainability in beer. We find that, on average, beer buyers are willing to pay $0.70/six-pack for beer produced using water and wastewater reduction technologies, $0.85 for carbon reduction practices, and $0.98 for landfill diversion practices, though water sustainability practices appeal to a largest share of beer buyers. We also find that preferences for sustainability attributes are widely distributed among beer drinkers, largely irrespective of sociodemographic characteristics. The positive price premiums across sustainability attributes suggest beer buyers value sustainable brewing, and brewers could attract new consumers by simultaneously communicating their commitment to sustainability and differentiating their product.

1. “A Mixed Methods Approach to Uncover Common Error Patterns in Student Reasoning of Supply and Demand.” Journal of Economic Education (forthcoming). Coauthors: Supriya Sarnikar, Hillary Sackett-Taylor, Stephanie Brewer, and Jason Forgue.

Students of introductory economics are often able to predict changes in equilibrium price correctly on standardized assessments, but make consistent errors in predicting changes in equilibrium quantity. To examine the reasons for this pattern, we collected open-ended explanations written by students and categorized their reasoning using a rigorous multi-step qualitative method. Integrating the qualitative analysis with quantitative data, we find that students exhibit remarkable consistency in their reasoning errors. Common multiple choice assessments tend to reward some types of reasoning errors and thereby make it harder for students to acquire the correct reasoning method. We demonstrate that, with thoughtful consideration to avoid excessive subjectivity, a qualitative study can deepen our contextual understanding of the primarily quantitative assessment metrics utilized in economics education research.

Papers in Review

“Hopping on the Localness Craze: What Brewers Want from State-Grown Hops.” In Review. Coauthors: Trey Malone and Rob Sirrine

Consumers habitually support local food and drink, but locally grown products often come from less developed value chains with lower quality control standards; something suppliers must consider. We use survey results from 50 Michigan craft breweries to determine what drives the decision to purchase local hops. A generalized linear model using a quasi-maximum likelihood estimator is employed to determine how perceived consistency, attitudes towards localness, and other factors impact hop purchasing decisions. The model indicates consistency of inputs is the leading driver of purchasing locally grown products, and beliefs about localness stimulating the economy or helping the environment is not enough to drive local purchasing.

Papers in Progress

“How many regulations does it take to get a beer? The economic geography of beer regulations.” Coauthors: Dustin Chambers and Trey Malone.

“Untapping terroir: Experimental evidence of regional variation in hop flavor profiles.” Coauthors: Trey Malone, Rob Sirrine, Alec Mull, Scott Stuhr, and Alex Adams.

Link to Google Scholar page:

“The land grant university system is being built on behalf of the people, who have invested in these public universities their hopes, their support, and their confidence.”

Abraham Lincoln, upon signing the Morrill Act, July 2, 1862.

Teaching. Research. Extension.

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