Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers in Economics,
University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

No 712: Nudging to reduce meat consumption: Immediate and persistent effects of an intervention at a university restaurant

Verena Kurz ()
Additional contact information
Verena Kurz: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: Department of Economics., School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Box 640, SE 40530 GÖTEBORG

Abstract: Changing dietary habits to reduce the consumption of meat is considered to have great potential to mitigate food-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To test if nudging can increase the consumption of vegetarian food, I conducted a field experiment with two university restaurants. At the treated restaurant, the salience of the vegetarian option was increased by changing the menu order, and by placing the dish at a spot visible to customers. The other restaurant served as a control. Daily sales data on the three main dishes sold were collected from September 2015 until June 2016. The experiment was divided into a baseline, an intervention, and a reversal period where the setup was returned to its original state. Results show that the nudge increased the share of vegetarian lunches sold by around 6 percentage points. The change in behavior is partly persistent, as the share of vegetarian lunches sold remained 4 percentage points higher than during the baseline period after the original setup was reinstated. The changes in consumption reduced GHG emissions from food sales around 5 percent.

Keywords: nudging; field experiment; meat consumption; climate change mitigation

JEL-codes: C93; D03; D12; Q50

47 pages, November 2017

Full text files

54288 HTML file 

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Marie Andersson ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-02-21 14:57:46.