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JEL Classification:

D12 (Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis); C93 (Field Experiments); M14 (Corporate culture, Social responsibility).

Abstract

We locate a giant scorecard poster with social and environmental responsibility scores of the ten leading world food companies, measured by the Oxfam “Behind the Brands” world campaign, at the entrance of selected supermarkets. We test the impact of such scores on consumers’ choices with a randomized field experiment. Our findings show that the Oxfam ranking matters since the treatment has a positive and significant effect on the market share of the companies with the highest scores and a negative and significant effect on the companies placed at the lowest ranks. Invisibility matters negatively since the largest non-ranked companies selling in the store experience a slight fall in their market shares. More in general, we find that an improvement in the total Oxfam scores has a positive and significant impact on market share of the company.