Behavioral Ethics Lab

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

12-2014

Publication Source

Ecological Economics

Volume

108

Start Page

180

Last Page

190

DOI

10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.10.019

Abstract

Using an incentive-compatible framed field experiment, we investigate whether consumers' food consumption is more eco-friendly when the information about a product's environmental impact is more easily accessible. Through an online survey, we identify a food label that is perceived to be the most easily accessible for assessing a product's eco-friendliness among six alternatives. These alternatives vary on multiple dimensions, including whether a standardized score of the overall environmental impact is added. This new food label is subsequently tested in an experimental food market embedded in a Belgian supermarket. We find that the presence of the new label that was preselected in the online survey leads to more eco-friendly food consumption relative to either the label currently used in the supermarket, or the label that contains the raw information of the environmental impact. In our experimental food market, the use of an easy-to-interpret but comprehensive environmental information label increases the overall eco-friendliness of our subjects' food consumption by about 5.3% relative to the default label used in current markets.

Comments

Preprint version.

Keywords

food labeling, framed field experiment, environmental information provision, consumer behavior

 

Date Posted: 08 May 2015

This document has been peer reviewed.