Discussion paper

DP19096 Behavioral Spillovers from Promoting Healthier Consumer Choices

We examine a four-month-long randomized intervention that provided information about healthier alternatives when online grocery shoppers added certain less-healthy products to their baskets, leading to significant and persistent average increases in healthier purchases.
Using machine learning techniques, we characterize consumers' direct responsiveness to the intervention and broader changes in behavior.
More-responsive consumers make healthier purchases beyond the immediate scope of the intervention; less-responsive consumers engage in more active shopping behaviors, spending more time shopping and making cost-saving substitutions.
These results highlight the capacity of information-based approaches to not only affect isolated consumer decisions but also shape behavior across multiple domains.


Barlose, M, K Eliaz, N Thakral and S Weisburd (2024), ‘DP19096 Behavioral Spillovers from Promoting Healthier Consumer Choices‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 19096. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp19096