Do Consumers Select Food Products Based on Carbonddioxide Emissions? Evidence from a Buying Experiment in Japan
Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)
July 26, 2009
ISER Discussion Paper No. 749
This study investigates whether consumers select foods based on the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by using a choice experiment in the laboratory. Respondents are asked to purchase a few Satsuma mandarin oranges based on price and the levels of CO2 emissions during different stages of their life cycle of production until packing and to answer questions on environmental consciousness, knowledge, and behavior. The following results are obtained: (i) the result for the high and low groups with respect to environmental consciousness is only significant different. (ii) the willingness to pay (WTP) estimate for the reduction of 1g of CO2 emissions per Satsuma mandarin orange is significantly lower for the low environmentally conscious group than it is for the high environmentally conscious group; (iii) the choice reasons selected by the respondents indicate that the low environmentally conscious group is less likely to select foods based on their CO2 emissions, whereas the high environmentally conscious group is indifferent to both price and the levels of CO2 emissions; and (iv) socioeconomic characteristics such as gender, age, and education influence the selection of foods on the basis of CO2 emissions in the low environmentally conscious group.
However, this is not the case in the high environmentally conscious group. Therefore, this study implies that regardless of consumers’ environmental knowledge and behavior, the higher their environmental consciousness, the greater their likelihood of selecting foods with lower environmental loads.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 26
Keywords: carbon dioxide emissions, choice experiment, consumer preference, food choice, laboratory experiment, random parameter logit
JEL Classification: C91, Q18, Q54working papers series
Date posted: July 30, 2009 ; Last revised: January 20, 2011
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