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Do Consumers Really Pay for SDGs? Re-Evaluating Consumer Behaviour Using Surveys in the USA, Germany, and Japan

Eri Nakamura, Kimitaka Nishitani and Fumitoshi Mizutani

CESifo Economic Studies, 2023, vol. 69, issue 3, 158-176

Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between consumers’ evaluation on sustainable development goal (SDG)-related characteristics and the actual payment for these values, while revealing effective governmental policies and business activities to enhance sustainable consumption. Using survey data from the USA, Germany, and Japan, the following results were obtained. First, the relative importance of the core element is 35–41% and that of the elements related to SDGs 8, 9, 12, and 13 dominates 52–58% of the overall product value. Second, effective approaches to enhance sustainable consumption differ among product characteristics. Third, lifestyle influences only the long-term and the medium-term goods. Fourth, while consumers rely on their experience in the choice of short-term goods, they make more deliberate decisions considering their condition factors for the medium-term and long-term goods. Based on these results, some practical implications were derived. First, active advertisement emphasizing the importance of economic aspects and actions for economic goals could be effective. Second, describing the idea that underlies the concept of SDGs could be effective rather than emphasizing each SDG. Third, incentive schemes focusing on daily goods rather than durable goods could enhance sustainable consumption further, as consumers still exhibit limited concern for daily goods. (JEL codes: D12; M20; M30; Q01; Q56; and Q58)

Keywords: SDGs; sustainable development; sustainable consumption; consumer behaviour; externalities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
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