Does Stated Purchasing Behavior Predict Actual Behavior?

37 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2011

See all articles by Richard Friberg

Richard Friberg

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Mark Sanctuary

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences - Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics; IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute; Stockholm University - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 16, 2010

Abstract

This paper studies the extent to which the stated behavior of a household predicts the same household’s actual shopping choices with respect to products that carry Environmental and Ethical (EE) labels. The analysis uses three years of household panel data on retail coffee purchases in Sweden. A central feature of the data is that households submit a questionnaire annually, indicating whether they try as much as possible to buy EE-labeled products. Consumers are indeed more likely to buy EE-labeled products if they say they do, and less likely to if they say they don’t. However, even the strongest self-declared EE-label consumers primarily purchase conventional coffee. Based on shopping choices in the field, these same consumers would be willing to pay premiums for EE-label coffee that are significantly higher than the implicit price for these labels. The results indicate that the narrow range of organic and Fairtrade coffee is an important explanation for the divergence between stated and actual behavior.

Keywords: Hypothetical bias, stated preferences, revealed preferences, consumer scan panel, eco-labeling

JEL Classification: Q51, M31

Suggested Citation

Friberg, Richard and Sanctuary, Mark, Does Stated Purchasing Behavior Predict Actual Behavior? (December 16, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1785231 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1785231

Richard Friberg (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 736 9645 (Phone)
+46 8 720 7752 (Fax)

Mark Sanctuary

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences - Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics ( email )

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
P.O. Box 50005
S-104 05 Stockholm, SE-104 05
United States

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute ( email )

Valhallavägen 81
Stockholm, 114 27
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivl.se

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden

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