Do Information, Price, or Morals Influence Ethical Consumption? A Natural Field Experiment and Customer Survey on the Purchase of Fair Trade Coffee

Andorfer, Veronika A.; Liebe, Ulf (2015). Do Information, Price, or Morals Influence Ethical Consumption? A Natural Field Experiment and Customer Survey on the Purchase of Fair Trade Coffee. Social science research, 52(July), pp. 330-350. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.02.007

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We address ethical consumption using a natural field experiment on the actual purchase of Fair Trade (FT) coffee in three supermarkets in Germany. Based on a quasi-experimental before-and-after design the effects of three different treatments – information, 20% price reduction, and a moral appeal – are analyzed. Sales data cover actual ethical purchase behavior and avoid problems of social desirability. But they offer only limited insights into the motivations of individual consumers. We therefore complemented the field experiment with a customer survey that allows us to contrast observed (ethical) buying behavior with self-reported FT consumption. Results from the experiment suggest that only the price reduction had the expected positive and statistically significant effect on FT consumption.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Liebe, Ulf

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

0049-089X

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Ulf Liebe

Date Deposited:

07 Apr 2016 08:13

Last Modified:

26 Feb 2019 15:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.ssresearch.2015.02.007

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.79517

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/79517

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