Fair trade, ethical decision making and the narrative of gender difference



Fair trade (FT) is of growing interest to those carrying out research into ethical decision making. In this paper, we report findings from a recent survey of FT purchasing among 688 retail shoppers in the United Kingdom. We examined the relationship between individual differences, in terms of gender and age, and three outcome measures: purchasing, word of mouth (WOM) recommendation and social advocacy. Though age appeared to have no significant effects, we found evidence of gender difference in each outcome measure. Females in our sample were more likely to purchase FT goods, to recommend them by WOM, and to advocate FT purchasing to friends and family. We discuss the implications of these findings in terms of the literature on ethical decision making and gender difference.