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Do Consumers Select Food Products Based on Carbon Dioxide Emissions? Evidence from a Buying Experiment in Japan

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  • Keiko Aoki

Abstract

This study investigates whether consumers select foods based on the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by using a choice experiment in the laboratory. Respondents are asked to purchase a few Satsuma mandarin oranges based on price and the levels of CO2 emissions during different stages of their life cycle of production until packing and to answer questions on environmental consciousness, knowledge, and behavior. The following results are obtained: (i) the result for the high and low groups with respect to environmental consciousness is only significant different. (ii) the willingness to pay (WTP) estimate for the reduction of 1g of CO2 emissions per Satsuma mandarin orange is significantly lower for the low environmentally conscious group than it is for the high environmentally conscious group; (iii) the choice reasons selected by the respondents indicate that the low environmentally conscious group is less likely to select foods based on their CO2 emissions, whereas the high environmentally conscious group is indifferent to both price and the levels of CO2 emissions; and (iv) socioeconomic characteristics such as gender, age, and education influence the selection of foods on the basis of CO2 emissions in the low environmentally conscious group. However, this is not the case in the high environmentally conscious group. Therefore, this study implies that regardless of consumers’ environmental knowledge and behavior, the higher their environmental consciousness, the greater their likelihood of selecting foods with lower environmental loads.

Suggested Citation

  • Keiko Aoki, 2009. "Do Consumers Select Food Products Based on Carbon Dioxide Emissions? Evidence from a Buying Experiment in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0749r, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Jan 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0749r
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    File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2009/DP0749R.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kim, Brent & Neff, Roni, 2009. "Measurement and communication of greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. food consumption via carbon calculators," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 186-196, November.
    2. Brécard, Dorothée & Hlaimi, Boubaker & Lucas, Sterenn & Perraudeau, Yves & Salladarré, Frédéric, 2009. "Determinants of demand for green products: An application to eco-label demand for fish in Europe," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 115-125, November.
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