Purpose: The Millennial generation accounts for 27 per cent of the world’s population. These numbers highlight the current and future impact of Millennials on world economies, and they are arguably the most powerful consumer group. Interestingly, Millennials are also the least religious generation. Hence, there is a need to investigate further how they view the world from an ethical and religious perspective and whether their beliefs evolve over time. Therefore, the purpose of this study is, first, to compare and contrast any changes in ethical beliefs across time. Second, the study will compare and contrast any changes in religiousness across time, and finally, it explores the effects of consumers’ religiousness on ethical beliefs across time. Design/methodology/approach: Using paper-based survey, the data collection took place in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, resulting in 1,702 young respondents in total. Findings: The results show that consumer ethics remain constant across time. Therefore, without intervention, individuals’ ethical behavior will remain unchanged. The results also indicate that Millennials understand the boundary between legal and illegal behavior. However, when the boundary becomes unclear, such as in situations in which they see no harm, downloading pirated software and recycling, Millennials were unsure and their religiousness affected their subsequent behavior. The study makes several contributions to consumer ethics and the impact of religiousness on ethical beliefs. Originality/value: This study makes several contributions to consumer ethics research, especially whether young consumers’ ethical beliefs change or remain constant across time.
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- Consumer ethics