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Does education affect consumers' attitudes toward genetically modified foods? Evidence from China's two rounds of education reforms

Does education affect consumers' attitudes toward genetically modified foods? Evidence from... This study analyzes the causal effect of education on consumers' cognition and attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) foods.Design/methodology/approachThe authors propose an analytical framework to clarify the role of education levels and education content in the formation of attitudes toward GM foods and utilize education reforms in China as natural experiments to test the theoretical predictions empirically. For education levels, the authors use Compulsory Education Law's implementation to construct the instrument variable. For education content, the authors utilize the revision of the biology textbook in the Eighth Curriculum Reform to implement staggered difference-in-difference estimation. The authors use two national household surveys, the China Genuine Progress indicator Survey (CGPiS) and the China Household Finance Survey (CHFS) of 2017, combined with provincial-level data of education reforms.FindingsThe education level, instrumented by the Compulsory Education Law's implementation, has an insignificant effect on consumers' cognition and attitudes toward GM foods, whereas the acquisition of formal education on genetic science, introduced by the Eighth Curriculum Reform, has a statistically significant and positive influence.Originality/valueThis is the first study to investigate the causal effects of education level and content on consumers' cognition and attitude toward GM foods using national representative data. It is also the first to evaluate the long-term effects of the biology textbook reform in China. The findings help open the black box of how education shapes people's preferences and attitudes and highlight the significance of formal biology education in formulating consumers' willingness to accept GM foods. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Agricultural Economic Review Emerald Publishing

Does education affect consumers' attitudes toward genetically modified foods? Evidence from China's two rounds of education reforms

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-137X
DOI
10.1108/caer-01-2021-0024
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study analyzes the causal effect of education on consumers' cognition and attitudes toward genetically modified (GM) foods.Design/methodology/approachThe authors propose an analytical framework to clarify the role of education levels and education content in the formation of attitudes toward GM foods and utilize education reforms in China as natural experiments to test the theoretical predictions empirically. For education levels, the authors use Compulsory Education Law's implementation to construct the instrument variable. For education content, the authors utilize the revision of the biology textbook in the Eighth Curriculum Reform to implement staggered difference-in-difference estimation. The authors use two national household surveys, the China Genuine Progress indicator Survey (CGPiS) and the China Household Finance Survey (CHFS) of 2017, combined with provincial-level data of education reforms.FindingsThe education level, instrumented by the Compulsory Education Law's implementation, has an insignificant effect on consumers' cognition and attitudes toward GM foods, whereas the acquisition of formal education on genetic science, introduced by the Eighth Curriculum Reform, has a statistically significant and positive influence.Originality/valueThis is the first study to investigate the causal effects of education level and content on consumers' cognition and attitude toward GM foods using national representative data. It is also the first to evaluate the long-term effects of the biology textbook reform in China. The findings help open the black box of how education shapes people's preferences and attitudes and highlight the significance of formal biology education in formulating consumers' willingness to accept GM foods.

Journal

China Agricultural Economic ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2022

Keywords: Education; Genetically modified foods; Consumer attitudes; Compulsory education law; Curriculum reform

References