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The social economics of ethical consumption: Theoretical considerations and empirical evidence

Martha Starr ()

No 2009-07, Working Papers from American University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Recent years have seen rising discussion of ethical consumption as a means of stemming global warming, challenging unsavory business practices, and promoting other pro-social goals. This paper first lays out a conceptual framework for understanding the spread of ethical consumption, in which heterogeneous preferences and sensitivity to social norms feature centrally. It then presents empirical evidence from a well-known nationally representative survey on factors associated with tendencies to buy ethically. It is found that, ceteris paribus, people are more likely to buy ethically when others around them do too, consistent with a role of social norms in promoting ethical-consumption behaviors.

JEL-codes: A13 D63 D64 E21 D12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pke and nep-soc
Date: 2009-06
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http://w.american.edu/cas/economics/repec/amu/workingpapers/2009-07.pdf First version, 2009 (application/pdf)

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