Postprint version. Published in Journal of Public Economics, Volume 87, Issue 3-4, March 1, 2003, pages 799-817. Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0047-2727(01)00103-7.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Stephen Hamilton was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The paper examines preferences for product quality regulations. Our premise is that preferences for product quality regulations derive from preferences for both private and public goods. The model is used to explain public attitudes toward a referendum measure to eliminate pesticide residues on food. Results from a survey of consumers are consistent with the conceptual model and show that preferences for public goods influence support for the product quality regulation. The results help explain why consumption behavior is a poor predictor of political behavior, and have implications for methods that use voting and market behavior to value public goods.