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Conformity and the demand for environmental goods

  • 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)

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/9555
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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
Contact details of provider: 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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