REES Visiting Speaker Seminar: Dr. Ryan Cardwell, University of Manitoba – Friday, March 1, 2024

Date(s) - 01/03/2024
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
550 General Services Building, 550 General Services Building University of Alberta , Edmonton Alberta

Title: Preferences for public policies: How does information about unintended consequences affect support for supply management?

Speaker: Ryan Cardwell, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Manitoba

Date: Friday, March 1, 2024

Time: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: GSB 550


We investigate elasticity of policy preferences to information about unintended consequences. We survey approximately 5,000 people and ask a referendum question about liberalising supply management in Canada. Supply management regulates production and marketing of dairy and poultry products in Canada through production restrictions, regulated pricing, and import barriers. Support varies widely across individual characteristics, including political-party affiliation, views on redistributive fiscal policies and international trade liberalisation, and perceptions of how supply management affects food prices. We estimate causal effects of information about unintended consequences on support for the policy in a randomised experiment. Treated participants receive personalised information about how supply management affects household grocery costs, and information about the policy’s distributional effects. Policy support is responsive to information treatments, but these effects are small relative to differences in support across individuals’ views on economic issues such as international trade and redistribution. We find little evidence of heterogenous treatment effects across respondent characteristics, suggesting the effects of our information treatments are not tied to views about political and economic issues.

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