Consumer Demand for Fair Labor Standards: Evidence from a Field Experiment on eBay

39 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2011  

Michael J. Hiscox

Harvard University

Michael Broukhim

Stanford University

Claire Litwin

Harvard University

Andrea Woloski

Harvard University

Date Written: April 12, 2011

Abstract

Surveys indicate that a majority of consumers would prefer to buy products made in workplaces with fair labor standards rather than alternatives and would be willing to pay a higher price for such products. There is no clear evidence, however, that many people would actually behave in this fashion when shopping. We provide new evidence on consumer behavior from experiments conducted on eBay. We find that labels with information about certified fair labor standards in factories making polo shirts had a substantial positive effect on bidding. On average, shoppers paid a 45% premium for ethically labeled versus unlabeled shirts.

Keywords: consumer behavior, altruism, social responsibility, field experiments

JEL Classification: D12, D64, M14, C93

Suggested Citation

Hiscox, Michael J. and Broukhim, Michael and Litwin, Claire and Woloski, Andrea, Consumer Demand for Fair Labor Standards: Evidence from a Field Experiment on eBay (April 12, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1811788 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1811788

Michael J. Hiscox (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~hiscox/

Michael Broukhim

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Claire Litwin

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Andrea Woloski

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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