Local food in times of crisis: The impact of COVID-19 and two reinforcing primes

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3 Scopus citations


Using an online survey experiment and a sample of 1650 participants from the Mid-Atlantic region in the United States, we investigate the effects of COVID-19 and two reinforcing primes on preferences for local food and donations to support farmers, farmers markets, and a food-relief program. At the beginning of the survey, we induce a subset of participants to think about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on either their personal life, finances, and health or on their local community and its members. Both primes increase participants’ levels of anxiety and slightly reduce their sense of community. Additionally, both primes significantly decrease the hypothetical price premium participants are willing to pay for local food, that is, both for fruits and vegetables and for meat products. The primes do not significantly affect the amount donated to charitable organizations, except when controlling for participants’ own experiences with COVID-19. While priming increases donations for some participants, it decreases donations for those with a “strong” COVID-19 experience, especially for the food relief program. [EconLit Citations: C90, Q19].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-873
Number of pages24
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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