Date of Award

5-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural and Resource Economics

Major Professor

Karen DeLong

Committee Members

Kimberly Jensen, Andrew Griffith

Abstract

This thesis presents two separate studies focusing on producers and consumers in the United States cattle industry. The objective of the first study was to analyze the differences between a text cheap talk script and a visual cheap talk script in an online choice experiment to see if it decreased or eliminated hypothetical bias. The product evaluated was Tennessee Certified Beef, specifically USDA Choice boneless ribeye, with other attributes to complement the beef product. Using a random parameters logit model, results indicated that willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for respondents who saw the visual cheap talk script were higher than the WTP estimates for respondents who saw the text cheap talk script. The study also evaluated the respondent’s preferred learning style (visual or verbal) and found that this too had an impact on WTP. The second study’s objective was to analyze the differences between operating and closed dairies in the Southeastern United States through farm and operator characteristics. Probit regression model results indicated variables that were related to the operational status of a dairy such as the number of cows and the dairies average daily production. The study also found there were other factors besides the size of the dairy operation that were significant in determining the operational status of the dairy.

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