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Conformity and the demand for environmental goods

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Author Info

  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • García, Jorge H.

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Löfgren, Åsa

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that people conform to certain social norms, i.e. that some individuals may be willing to pay a higher price premium for green products the more widespread green consumerism is in society. To investigate consumer preferences for environmentally friendly products, we conducted a choice experiment where the respondents were asked to choose among coffee products varying with respect to their share of ecological beans, share of fair trade beans, and price. Three treatments were used, differing only in the information given about the choices made by other consumers. More specifically, the respondents in the three subgroups were told that 10%, 50%, and 90% of all other consumers chose the alternative with 100% ecological beans. We find different responses to the treatments across individuals. In particular, we can only confirm our hypothesis of conformity for women, although men appear to have stronger preferences for ecological coffee than women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 286.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 13 Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0286

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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: Conformity; Choice Experiments; Environmental Goods;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Grolleau, Gilles & Ibanez, Lisette & Mzoughi, Naoufel, 2012. "Being the best or doing the right thing? An investigation of positional, prosocial and conformist preferences in provision of public goods," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 705-711.
  2. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00722592 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Ulf Liebe & Veronika A. Andorfer & Patricia A. Gwartney & Jürgen Meyerhoff, 2014. "Ethical Consumption and Social Context: Experimental Evidence from Germany and the United States," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 7, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
  4. Keiko Yamaguchi & Kenji Takeuchi, 2011. "Consumer Preferences for Less Packaging: A Stated Preference Study," Discussion Papers 1117, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
  5. Dorothée Brécard, 2013. "Environmental Quality Competition and Taxation in the Presence of Green Network Effect Among Consumers," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(1), pages 1-19, January.
  6. Sabrina Teyssier & Fabrice Etilé & Pierre Combris, 2012. "Social- and Self-Image Concerns in Fair-Trade Consumption: Evidence from Experimental Auctions for Chocolate," PSE Working Papers halshs-00722592, HAL.
  7. Ole Bonnichsen & Jacob Ladenburg, 2010. "Reducing Status Quo Bias in Choice Experiments – An Application of a Protest Reduction Entreaty," IFRO Working Paper 2010/7, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
  8. Veronika Andorfer & Ulf Liebe, 2012. "Research on Fair Trade Consumption—A Review," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 106(4), pages 415-435, April.
  9. Gabriela Tigu & Claudia-Elena Tuclea & Diana-Maria Vrânceanu & Dragos-Constantin Vasile, 2014. "The Social Responsibility of Retailers through the Eyes of Students of a Commerce Faculty – a Qualitative Approach," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 16(35), pages 73, February.
  10. SABRINA TEYSSIER & Fabrice Etile & Pierre Combris, 2012. "Social and self-Image concerns in fair-trade consumption: Evidence from experimental auctions for chocolate," Working Papers 168750, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  11. Fredrik Carlsson, 2010. "Design of Stated Preference Surveys: Is There More to Learn from Behavioral Economics?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(2), pages 167-177, June.

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