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Environmental Economics (EEC) : project R-11697

Title : The influence of social ties on the reduction of animal protein consumption. (R-11697)
Abstract: Reducing animal protein consumption (APC) represents a highly effective way to mitigate climate change and improve land and water use. However, several policy plans (e.9., 7th EAP) to reduce APC have failed to reach their targets. Therefore, research on the drivers of and to reduce APC is needed. Current pro-environmental food consumption research has focused on meat consumption only and barely considered the influence of social ties (social influence), even though eating is an inherently social activity. I argue that social influence (SI) provides a promising avenue for reducing APC. Consequently, this proposal assesses the influence of social ties on the reduction of APC, through the following three work packages (WPs): (i) WP1 provides a fundamental basis by creating and testing (PLS-SEM) a conceptual model of SI on APC and underlying mechanisms, building on previous pro-environmental and food behavior, and SI research. (ii) WP2 addresses a key issue with testing SI: the possible confounding by a selection effect. A method rooted in sociology (SABM) is introduced to the area of proenvironmental behavior to disentangle social influence on APC from selection, (iii) WP3 addresses the causal effect of SI by designing and implementing an app-based social intervention (RCT) to reduce APC in collaboration with ProVeg. All three WPs inspire social and consumption-oriented interventions to reduce APC as a part of the transition to a more sustainable food system.
Period of project : 1/10/2020to30/09/2024

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