We conduct a survey, with an experimental component, among voting-eligible Canadians to investigate determinants of support for a Canadian food policy called supply management. The experimental component involves randomly assigning respondents to either a control group, or to receive one of three treatments, each of which receives different information on the costs and distributional effects of supply management on consumers. The information treatment on consumer costs is customized to individual recipients’ household characteristics to increase salience. We also randomize the estimated food price increases that result from supply management policies. Detailed information is collected from participants, including household demographics, political preferences, perceptions of other Canadians’ incomes, support for other food policies, and preferences for government redistribution. We investigate correlation between respondent characteristics and support for supply management, and use the experimental structure of our survey to identify causal effects of information treatments on support for supply management. We will estimate interaction effects between treatments and respondent information, including support for redistribution, political affiliation, and views on related food policies.
The survey also includes a section that asks respondents’ preferred level of compensation for farmers, if supply management were to be dismantled. Respondents will be presented with estimated annual costs of compensation (a tax bill) and estimated annual benefits (lower prices).
We also plan a follow-up survey several months after collecting data from the first-round questionnaire. The follow-up will allow us to observe the persistence of treatments from the first round. The follow-up will also include a question that gauges whether a change in respondents’ preferred political party’s position on supply management affects voting behaviour.