Information provision and consumer behaviour: Does CO2 emission awareness make us more climate friendly?
Last registered on January 10, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Information provision and consumer behaviour: Does CO2 emission awareness make us more climate friendly?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005291
Initial registration date
January 10, 2020
Last updated
January 10, 2020 11:29 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Copenhagen
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Copenhagen
PI Affiliation
UC San Diego
PI Affiliation
University of Copenhagen
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-01-13
End date
2020-08-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We will investigate if the provision of information about CO2 emissions connected to own food purchases influences food purchases. Concretely, we will invite a randomly selected representative sample (drawn by Statistics Denmark, n=50.000) of Danes to participate in the study. The selected individuals will be invited through the official public digital mailing platform in Denmark (called E-boks) based on their social security number. Different versions of the invitation letter will be randomized among the sample. The basic version is written in neutral terms explaining the project, another version of the invitation will, in addition to the neutral description, mention the projects’ importance for the climate, yet a third will add the economic benefit associated with the project for the participants.
If the participants accept the invitation, they sign-up to the study by answering a short questionnaire on health, economic, climate and food-security issues related to food consumption. This questionnaire appears on the project website (created in Qualtrics), where further instructions about the project are also provided. After being enrolled into the project, the participants are randomized into one of three different treatments. In one treatment, they are asked to download and register on an app providing an economic overview of their food purchase (called Spenderlog). In a second treatment, they are asked to download and register on an app which gives an overview of the CO2 emission resulting from their food purchase (called Co2Food). In a third group, they are asked to download both apps. Our aim is to compare the food purchases in the groups before and during the intervention.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Fosgård, Toke et al. 2020. "Information provision and consumer behaviour: Does CO2 emission awareness make us more climate friendly?." AEA RCT Registry. January 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5291-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We will invite a randomly selected representative sample (drawn by Statistics Denmark, n=50.000) of Danes to participate in the study. The selected individuals will be invited through the official public digital mailing platform in Denmark (called E-boks) based on their social security number. Different versions of the invitation letter will be randomized among the sample. The basic version is written in neutral terms explaining the project, another version of the invitation will, in addition to the neutral description, mention the projects’ importance for the climate, yet a third will add the economic benefit associated with the project for the participants. If the participants accept the invitation, they sign-up to the study by answering a short questionnaire on health, economic, climate and food-security issues related to food consumption.
After being enrolled into the project, the participants are randomized into one of three different treatments (in details below).
2-3 months after that the participants are enrolled into the project, push-notifications will be sent to the participants. The content of the push-notifications is to be decided based on the evidence collected in the initial phase of the project with regards to the engagement level of participants.
Our aim is to compare the food purchases in the groups before and during the intervention.
Intervention Start Date
2020-01-13
Intervention End Date
2020-08-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We collect four groups of variables:
1) Food purchase data: Tracked through the two apps that the respondents are using. The apps are managed by the company Spenderlog. We get information about which food items are bought, divided into food categories, shop types, costs and CO2 emission estimates
2) App usage: From the app we will know if participants are using the app, if they set up goals concerning their CO2 emission or food consumption, and if they choose to set a comparison of their own consumption with the consumption of others and if they later change it.
3) Recruitment: We have information on which type of invitation letter the participants have received, their signing up process, the randomization to treatments and their answers to the survey at the start and at the end of the experiment
4) Register data on all invited participants: demographic, economic, education, family and occupation.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Invitation letter - treatments:
1) Neutral description of the project and participation.
2) Same as the neutral and additionally highlights the link between the climate and food consumption
3) Same as the neutral and additionally highlights the link between saving money and food consumption.

Apps - treatments:
Automated recording of food purchases via electronic receipts are used to provide participants feedback on their consumption. Treatment 1) The Spenderlog app. It gives an overview of the money spent on own food consumption. Treatment 2) The CO2Food app. It gives an overview of the estimated CO2 emission resulting from own food consumption. Treatment 3) Participants are given both apps.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Unit of randomization is individuals.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Through Statistics Denmark, we get a representative sample of the Danish population of 50.000 individuals. We will send an invitation to them. We expect a 5% participation rate, resulting in n=2500.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Total N=2500 divided by 3 treatments: N=833 per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
MDES of 0,14 SD
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Research Ethics Committee for Science and Health (University of Copenhagen)
IRB Approval Date
2019-10-30
IRB Approval Number
504-0109/19-5000
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
pre-analysis plan.pdf

MD5: 6f42a216e2cc03ae66f56ca7aed1121b

SHA1: 117ec1888ccbe6b7accfa0cccb8431f735afa496

Uploaded At: January 10, 2020