Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Price of Happy Hens: A Hedonic Analysis of Retail Egg Prices

By Jae Bong Chang, Jayson L. Lusk and F. Bailey Norwood


This paper analyzes price differentials among conventional, cage-free, organic, and Omega-3 eggs using retail scanner data from two regional markets and the United States as a whole. Results reveal significant premiums attributable to cage-free (a 57% premium on average) and organic (an 85% premium on average). However, significant variation exists among geographic locations; price premiums for organic over conventional eggs in Dallas are almost twice as high as those in San Francisco. Estimates indicate that about 42% of the typically observed premium for cage-free eggs over conventional eggs (and 36% of the premium for organic eggs) can be attributed to egg color rather than differences in hens’ living conditions. Despite the large implicit price premiums for cage-free and organic, our data reveal that most shoppers are not willing to pay such high prices for cage-free and organic attributes.animal welfare, cage-free, eggs, free-range, hedonic, organic, Demand and Price Analysis, Livestock Production/Industries,

OAI identifier:
Downloaded from

Suggested articles


  1. A Computer Model for Welfare Assessment of Poultry Production Systems for Laying Hens.”
  2. A Possible Procedure for Analyzing Quality Differentials
  3. (2010). Available at [Last accessed May 1,
  4. (2011). Compassion by the Pound: The Economics of Farm Animal Welfare.
  5. (2004). Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Food Quality—The Case of Eggs.” Food Econ.
  6. Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach.”
  7. (2009). Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. “Food Availability: Spreadsheets, Eggs: PerCapita Availability,”
  8. (2008). Economic Effects of Proposed Restrictions on Egg-Laying Hen Housing in
  9. (2009). Egg Industry Facts Sheet.” Online. Available at industry_facts/fact_sheet.html. [Accessed
  10. Estimating Housing Demand with and Application to Explaining Racial Segregation in
  11. Farm Animal Welfare and Food Policy.” Food Policy 22(1997):281–288. DeGraba, P. “The Loss Leader Is a Turkey: Targeted Discounts from Multi-Product Competitors.” Internat.
  12. Food Consumption, Prices, and Expenditures, 1970–97.” Statis.
  13. Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in
  14. Hedonic Prices for Fish: Tuna Prices in Hawaii.”
  15. (2003). Hedonic Regressions: A Review of Some Unsolved Issues.”
  16. (2010). Humane Society of the United States. “Humane State Ranking.” Online. Available at http://www.humane [Accessed February
  17. (2006). Organic Poultry and Eggs Capture High Price Premiums and Growing Share of Specialty Markets.” USDA/Economic Research Service Outlook
  18. (2004). Specific Targeted Research Project (STReP), FP6 European Research Programme,
  19. (2003). The Hedonic Method.” In A Primer on Nonmarket Valuation,
  20. The Interpretation of Dummy Variables
  21. (1999). USDA/Economic Research Service,
  22. (2002). Valuing Environmental and Natural Resources: The Econometrics of Non-Market Valuation.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.