Fostering Community Economic Development with Ethical Consumption - An Experiment Using Fair Trade Coffee

Author: 
by Mark Hudson, Ian Hudson, Jason D. Edgerton
Publication Date: 
2012
Summary: 
This paper aims to contribute to an exploration of whether ethical consumption (purchasing commodities that contain a public-good element) might be used as part of a Community Economic Development strategy.
Abstract: 
This paper aims to contribute to an exploration of whether ethical consumption (purchasing commodities that contain a public-good element) might be used as part of a Community Economic Development strategy. The research used an experimental methodology in which 200 students at a large public university were asked to choose between “conventional” coffee for $5.00 per half-pound, and fair trade coffee for $7.00 per half-pound. We tested whether making purchases in public vs. in private affected the likelihood of purchasing the fair trade coffee. We also tested whether the provision of information at the point of purchase made any difference.