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How Can We Motivate Consumers to Purchase Certified Forest Coffee? Evidence From a Laboratory Randomized Experiment Using Eye-trackers

Ryo Takahashi (), Yasuyuki Todo and Yukihiko Funaki

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 150, issue C, 107-121

Abstract: By conducting a laboratory experiment, we investigate how consumers' purchasing behavior for certified forest coffee is affected by consumers' interest in environmental issues, the provision of information, and product labels. We contribute to the literature in the following three ways. First, we conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to control biases due to endogeneity. Second, we utilize eye-trackers to examine how different product labels result in different visual attention. The combination of an RCT and eye-tracking techniques is new in the literature on purchasing behavior for environmentally friendly products. Third, our experiment measures participants' purchasing behavior that incurs actual costs rather than examining their willingness-to-pay (WTP) based on hypothetical questions. We find that concerns regarding environmental issues do not promote purchases of certified forest coffee. Information about certification programs does not have any effect on purchasing certified forest coffee unless information is provided to prior purchasers of certified forest coffee. By contrast, illustrations of forests on certified forest coffee labels attract participants' visual attention and further stimulate actual purchases of certified forest coffee, suggesting that a 1-second increase in visual attention increases the likelihood of purchasing certified forest coffee by 22 percentage points.

Keywords: Eye-tracking; Visual attention; Social experiment; Sustainability labels; Coffee certification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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