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About us FEB Research / FEB SOM Research Institute SOM signature areas Markets and Sustainability Research

Profile and Themes

In the signature area Markets and Sustainability, researchers from Marketing, Operations and Micro-economics combine their expertise to study the sustainability question from different angles. The focus is on how consumers and firms can be influenced to adapt their behavior, and how market design and logistic networks can foster sustainability.  Our research output is of an empirical, (field) experimental, as well as theoretical nature.

The group has formulated three main research themes:

  • Understanding Consumer Choices

To be able to steer consumers towards more sustainable choices, we first have to understand what drives their behavior. How is an individual’s inclination to make pro-social choices shaped by the (market) context in which she makes those decisions? Research within this theme will therefore be mostly of an (field) experimental nature.

  • Learning in markets

How do consumers and firms deal with information that becomes available via the price mechanism and through other channels such as their social network? What are longer term effects of efforts to induce consumers to adopt sustainable products or to change their consumption behavior otherwise? Research within this theme will focus especially on the role of information provision in the long run.

  • Adoption of sustainable products

Although consumers and firms show ample interest in sustainability, this often does not translate into the adoption of sustainable products. High prices and low availability of sustainable alternatives have been widely cited as reasons for this. Recent literature also highlights other barriers, such as skepticism towards sustainable products or negative quality inferences. We want to investigate how adoption of sustainable products can be encouraged; how consumers can be nudged towards such adoption, and how markets and logistical networks can be designed (e.g. in terms of infrastructure) to facilitate such adoption. The focus will be research on actual markets; either empirical or in the form of field experiments.

To disseminate the research findings and to establish a platform where researchers can exchange ideas and present their work to peers and practitioners, Markets and Sustainability has an extensive program of seminar series, symposia. There is a visitors program for PhD students and researchers from other universities.
Last modified:13 January 2017 11.05 a.m.