Price, morals, and ethical consumption: A field experiment with follow-up survey on the purchase of ecological products

Liebe, Ulf; Andorfer, Veronika A.; Beyer, Heiko (2016). Price, morals, and ethical consumption: A field experiment with follow-up survey on the purchase of ecological products. Berliner Journal für Soziologie, 26(2), pp. 201-225. Akademie Verlag 10.1007/s11609-016-0313-3

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It is a fundamental question of consumer research to what extent economic and moral incentives affect ethical consumption behavior. So far most studies have used self-reported behavior from survey data. Due to socially desirable response behavior, effects of moral norms might be overestimated and price effects underestimated. The paper presents a field experiment on the purchase of ecological products in which the effect of a price reduction and norm activation (moral appeal) is tested. This study is a replication of a field experiment on the purchase of organic eggs presented by Andreas Diekmann. The original study design is extended with a customer survey and documentation of observed purchase behavior of respondents. The field experiment shows a strong effect of the price reduction and no effect of the norm activation. In the survey, however, there are strong norm effects on both self-reported and observed purchase behavior of respondents. But the moral appeal in the field experiment does not activate those consumers who are not already concerned about the environment and animal welfare. Taken together, these findings show the importance of monetary incentives for the promotion of ethical consumption especially for those consumers whose purchasing behavior is not motivated by strong moral norms.

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:

0863-1808

Publisher:

Akademie Verlag

Language:

German

Submitter:

Ulf Liebe

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2017 13:52

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 17:59

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s11609-016-0313-3

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.97310

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/97310

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