Celebrity endorsement in promoting pro-environmental behavior

EfD Discussion Paper
27 October 2020

Thong Ho, Zihan Nie, Francisco Alpizar, Fredrik Carlsson, Pham Khanh Nam

We conduct a natural field experiment on the effect of having a celebrity endorse an information campaign aiming to induce pro-environmental behavior in the context of single-use plastics consumption. We find that an information campaign does not have a significant effect on behavior unless it is endorsed by a celebrity. Subjects in the treatment with a combination of information campaign and celebrity endorsement use around 25% fewer plastic items compared with subjects in the control group. Adding a pledge to the endorsement does not result in an incremental reduction in the use of plastic items. Exploratory analysis suggests that the information campaign itself affect attitudes, but not behavior, and that it is the celebrity endorsement itself that affect behavior.

Publication reference
Efd Discussion Paper 20-35
Publication | 27 October 2020