Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello


  • John M. CrespiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_279



Labeling is the affixing of a mark and symbol or identifying word or phrase to a product or process for the purpose of providing information about an undetectable attribute. The attribute could be a product ingredient, a manufacturing process, or an aspect of the production process anywhere along the supply chain.


The economic study of labeling generally refers to the research regarding the welfare impacts of descriptions, marks, or symbols affixed to a product for the purpose of providing consumer information, typically concerning a credence attribute. A credence attribute (Darby and Karni 1973) exists when consumers cannot detect the attribute even after consuming the product and must rely upon provided labeling information. Examples of labeled attributes are nutritional labels, organic labels, eco-labels, or safety information. Such attribute labels concern either the final-stage manufacturing of the product or some...

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Iowa State UniversityAmesUSA