Explaining the choice of organic produce: Cosmetic defects, prices, and consumer preferences

Gary D. Thompson, Julia Kidwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


The choice between organic and conventional produce was estimated empirically using a two-equation probit model. Data were collected in-store on cosmetic defects, produce prices, and consumers' demographic and economic traits. Store choice displayed a significant impact on the probability of purchasing organic produce. Shoppers at the specialty grocer were sensitive to price differences between organic and conventional items. Households with children under eighteen were more likely to purchase organic produce while shoppers with graduate or professional degrees were less likely to do so. Differences in cosmetic defects had statistically significant albeit small effects on the probability of purchasing organics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-287
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Cosmetic defects
  • Organic produce
  • Two-equation probit model
  • Weak exogeneity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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