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Measuring Public Concerns? Developing a Moral Concerns Scale Regarding Non-Product Related Process and Production Methods

Winnie Isabel Sonntag () and Achim Spiller ()
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Winnie Isabel Sonntag: Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Marketing for Food and Agricultural Products, Georg-August-University, Platz der Goettinger Sieben 5, 37073 Goettingen, Germany
Achim Spiller: Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Marketing for Food and Agricultural Products, Georg-August-University, Platz der Goettinger Sieben 5, 37073 Goettingen, Germany

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 5, 1-16

Abstract: In recent years, citizens have been more frequently scrutinizing non-product related process and production methods (npr-PPM) of various products, such as food, out of moral considerations. In 2014, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body reached a landmark decision and accepted an European Union (EU)-wide import ban of seal products under the justification of Art. XX (a) General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) due to “public moral concerns”. However, up to now there has been no valid and reliable scale to quantify moral concerns. Therefore, we developed a tool—the Moral Concerns Scale (MCS)—to measure moral concerns of a society about, for example, animal welfare or child labor in a valid and reliable manner for npr-PPM. This scale was developed and tested in two independent studies with German citizens (in 2016 and 2017) using three case studies: hens laying eggs in battery cages, the inhumane killing of seals, and the use of child labor. According to the results of both studies, the reliability and validity of the developed scale can be confirmed.

Keywords: moral concerns; non-product related process and production methods; animal welfare; child labor; scale development; partial least squares (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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