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The Economics of Ethical Consumption

Martha Starr ()

No 2015-01, Working Papers from American University, Department of Economics

Abstract: Although there has been little economic research on 'ethical consumption' in a general sense, work on its various aspects is growing. This paper reviews economic research on ethical consumption, examining both demand-and supply-side aspects. It is argued that the most promising way to see ethical consumption through an economic lens is via models with heterogeneous consumers, in which some have strong intrinsic motivation to adopt ethical-consumption practices, others will adopt if they perceive a practice to be becoming a social norm and its extra costs are moderate, and others still will be impervious to it. Implications for the spread of ethical consumption and its ability to affect change are considered.

Keywords: ethical consumption; consumption ethics; socially responsible consumption; corporate social responsibility; sustainable consumption; consumer behavior; pro-social behavior; consumer economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E21 D11 D12 A13 A12 Q5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env, nep-hme, nep-hpe, nep-mac and nep-pke
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https://doi.org/10.17606/fyyp-8622 First version, 2015 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:amu:wpaper:2015-01

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