“Look at Me, I’m Buying Organic”: The Effects of Social Pressure on Organic Food Purchases
We investigate whether consumers purchase organic foods to demonstrate social status to others. Subjects were asked to choose among organic and nonorganic milk and apples in a control group and treatments in which: i) an image of another person’s eyes was displayed, ii) responses appeared to not be anonymous, or iii) a vignette placed the choice in the presence of an acquaintance. The vignette treatment increased the willingness-to-pay (WTP) premium for organic by about 90%. The other treatments did not have significant overall effects. When exposed to another person’s eyes, more educated respondents increased their WTP for organic.
Kim, Seon-Woong; Lusk, Jayson L.; Brorsen, B. Wade, “Look at Me, I’m Buying Organic”: The Effects of Social Pressure on Organic Food Purchases, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 43, Issue 3, September 2018, Pages 364–387
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