Acceptability of Unsustainable Consumption

Benedikt Schnurr, Georgios Halkias

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


People are increasingly encouraged to adopt more sustainable behaviors. But what determines whether people perceive unsustainable consumption choices made by others as (un)acceptable? We demonstrate that people judge the same unsustainable consumption choice as more acceptable when that choice is made by a lower- versus higher-income individual, even when a comparable sustainable consumption option does not impose any additional monetary costs. The evidence suggests that this effect is attributed to people’s belief that environmental concerns are more of a luxury problem for lower- (vs. higher-) income individuals, accounting for differences in interpersonal judgments of immorality and environmental knowledge as alternative processes. Finally, we find that this effect has important behavioral downstream consequences as people are less likely to support policy interventions promoting sustainable consumption when these interventions target lower- (vs. higher-) income individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Marketing Academy : EMAC 2023 Annual Conference
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherEuropean Marketing Academy. EMAC
Publication date2023
Article number113190
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe 52nd EMAC Annual Conference 2023 - University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
Duration: 23 May 202326 May 2023
Conference number: 52


ConferenceThe 52nd EMAC Annual Conference 2023
LocationUniversity of Southern Denmark
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the European Marketing Academy


  • Consumer behaviour
  • Public policy

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