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Abstract

We conducted a natural field experiment in an artisanal sit-down ice-cream shop in Italy to investigate whether consumer choices are affected by information regarding locally grown products. Two aspects of locally grown products are investigated: (i) quality due to terroir (i.e., quality with a link to the territory) and (ii) reduced carbon emissions due to short transportation distance. Contrary to the evidence emerging from the majority of the stated-preference literature, our results suggest that consumer behavior is not significantly affected by information regarding quality due to terroir. We also find that consumers positively respond to information concerning reduced carbon emissions, although the estimated average WTP is small (10 Euro cents). Finally, we offer a contribution to the literature on sustainable food consumption by documenting a gender gap and a cohort effect and by providing evidence that social pressure, as proxied by the size of the party and the presence of kids at the table, fosters environmentally friendly consumption.

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