The Impact of Environmental Recall and Carbon Taxation on the Carbon Footprint of Supermarket Shopping
62 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 9, 2017
This study uses an incentive-compatible experimental online supermarket to assess whether prior environmentally-friendly behaviour outside the store, and whether carbon taxes motivate sustainable consumption. Previous research suggests that past decisions may influence current decisions, for example because consumers compensate morally desirable and undesirable acts (e.g. high-carbon food baskets may follow past environmentally-friendly behaviours) over time; while carbon taxes have been promoted as effective tools to reduce the carbon footprint of food baskets, despite limited empirical evidence. After controlling for past consumption, results show that being required to recall past environmentally-friendly behaviour before shopping led consumers to purchase more sustainable food baskets. Carbon taxation also strongly reduces the carbon footprint of food baskets, showing no interaction with the recall of past behaviours.
Keywords: sustainable consumption; moral licensing; priming; carbon footprint; carbon tax
JEL Classification: C91, D03, D12, Q01, Q58
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation