Morality x Price trade-off
: what is the price of your values?

  • Inês Morgado Luz Rodrigues (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This dissertation explores why consumers buy from extremely low-price vendors, and if they make ethical inferences when looking at a product’s price. Past research has shown that price is acue for quality or sustainability, for example, but this study goes a step further in the field of ethics. To do so two studies were made where the objective was the same, but there were two main differences: one analyzed the impact of self-actor consumer behavior, and the other studied the impact of moral actions on consumer behavior. Consumers believe they are more intelligent than others, and they feel smarter while buying a cheaper product. Doing a moral action led them mainly to consistency, and not recognizing their actions as immoral but the company as so. The main finding was that consumers don’t make ethical inferences based on price, and this leaves ethical companies with a challenge on their hands: figure out what cues deliver their message in the best way. A gap is left for un ethical companies to operate, since consumers aren’t still aware of their practices, and are still looking only for the best price.
Date of Award2 Feb 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJoão Niza Braga (Supervisor)


  • Ethics
  • Consumer behavior
  • Price cues
  • Sustainability
  • Actor-observer
  • Moral actions
  • Consistency
  • Self-licensing hedonic consumption
  • Utilitarian consumption


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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