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The Impact of Awareness of Aquatic Food and Consumers’ Beliefs About Product Attributes on Fish Consumption Behavior in China




Cai, Mengyan

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


A five equation partially-recursive model is estimated to determine the effects of consumer awareness of farmed fish, beliefs about product attributes, and socio-economic-psychometric variables on fish consumption in three major cities in China, namely Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an. Results suggest the three most important drivers of fish consumption are i) the consumer’s perception of product safety, ii) the place of purchase (whether from a fish monger or supermarket), and iii) whether the consumer distinguishes farm-raised from wild- caught fish. Average monthly income, education level, the consumer’s susceptibility to advertising, and product form (whether the consumer prefers processed or unprocessed fish) are also drivers of fish consumption, but their effects are relatively modest. Nutrition, price, household size, and gender were found to have no effect on fish consumption. Overall, results suggest if policy makers want to expand fish consumption, they should focus on improving perceptions about product quality and safety, as this variable was found to be twice as important as place of purchase, which in turn is about 50% more important than source of production (whether wild-caught or farm-raised).