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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

(In)consistent shopping behaviors: The different hurdles of sustainable consumption patterns

Published: May 28, 2019


Robert Mai, Grenoble Ecole de Management; Ingo Balderjahn, Universität Potsdam; Stefan Hoffmann, Kiel University


consumption pattern; double hurdle model; sustainability


Consumers can be more or less consistent in their purchase decisions, especially in the domain of sustainable consumption. To better explain how consumer rationalizations interface with their sustainable product preferences, this research delineates two distinct types of decisions that determine shopping patterns: the selection decision (whether sustainable products are considered at all) and the amount of consumption decisions (how many sustainable products are purchased). The paper examines both hurdles for actual shopping patterns of more than 15,000 households. The results reveal that the separation can help to explain some seemingly paradox effects as counter-arguing inhibits more sustainable shopping decisions, even when consumers are motivated to shop for sustainable products. Certain consumer characteristics are shown to increase the likelihood to consider sustainable products, but the very same characteristics have no or even a negative impact on quantity of these products as the selection of few prototypical sustainable products serves as a license.


Data are provided by an international market research institute Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK).