The European Consumer: United in Diversity?
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES); Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Applied Economics
M. G. Dekimpe
Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Applied Economics; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)
April 7, 2005
ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2005-022-MKT
The ongoing unification which takes place on the European political scene, along with recentadvances in consumer mobility and communication technology, raises the question whether theEuropean Union can be treated as a single market to fully exploit the potential synergy effectsfrom pan-European marketing strategies. Previous research, which mostly used domain-specificsegmentation bases, has resulted in mixed conclusions. In this paper, a more generalsegmentation base is adopted, as we consider the homogeneity in the European countries’Consumer Confidence Indicators. Moreover, rather than analyzing more traditional staticsimilarity measures, we adopt the concepts of dynamic correlation and cohesion betweencountries. The short-run fluctuations in consumer confidence are found to be largely countryspecific. However, a myopic focus on these fluctuations may inspire management to adopt multicountrystrategies, foregoing the potential longer-run benefits from more standardized marketingstrategies. Indeed, the Consumer Confidence Indicators become much more homogeneous asthe planning horizon is extended. However, this homogeneity is found to remain inversely relatedto the cultural, economic and geographic distances among the various Member States. Hence,pan-regional rather pan-European strategies are called for.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: consumer confidence, dynamic correlation, European Unification
JEL Classification: M, C44, M31working papers series
Date posted: September 20, 2005
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