Nudge and Tax in a Virtual Supermarket: Exploring factors affecting decision of purchase and the price elasticity of demand for meat

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The IPCC and the Dutch government recognize that a protein consumption shift is a desirable target regarding climate change mitigation efforts. This is an ongoing debate, and policymakers have several instruments at hand to achieve this. Previous research has found that combining an information nudge with a fiscal measure enhances the effect of reducing meat demand. However, little is known if the reaction to the nudge depends on other proximal determinants of individual food choice, namely price meat attachment, price consciousness, and environmental consciousness. Using data from an RCT, this study set out to fill in this gap. Additionally, the responsiveness of the consumers to a 30% price increase on meat was estimated, as this could provide a single estimate for the behavioral response to an environmental tax. Moreover, the effect of the behavioral treatment on consumers’ price sensitivity was investigated. No empirical support was found for the chosen proximal determinants. Price elasticity was found to be inelastic, yet no evidence was found that a nudge increased consumers' sensitivity. Although little evidence was found here, it nonetheless provides insights into the dimensions of the effects of nudging and creates the potential for future research and debate.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen