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French Roast: Consumer Responses to International Conflict - Evidence from Supermarket Scanner Data

88 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2010 Last revised: 13 Jan 2015

Sonal S. Pandya

University of Virginia

Rajkumar Venkatesan

University of Connecticut - Department of Marketing

Date Written: August 2014

Abstract

During international disputes do consumers boycott an adversary country’s products? We show that during the 2003 US-France dispute over the Iraq War, the market share of French-sounding, US supermarket brands declined. The dispute was a negative shock to US consumers’ associations with France. French-sounding brands, brands that consumers perceive to be French imports, allow us to isolate the dispute’s effect on economic behavior because these brands’ only link to France is through consumers’ associations. Our causal estimates, derived from a nationwide sample of weekly supermarket sales for over 8000 brands, are robust to a variety of alternate explanations. Additionally, we show that supermarkets with a higher proportion of customers who are US citizens (e.g. more strongly identify with US national identity) exhibit sharper boycotts. Customers’ partisan affiliations do not correlate with boycott response.

Keywords: consumer animosity, interstate conflict, supermarket sales, country of origin marketing

JEL Classification: D12, F51, F52, M31

Suggested Citation

Pandya, Sonal S. and Venkatesan, Rajkumar, French Roast: Consumer Responses to International Conflict - Evidence from Supermarket Scanner Data (August 2014). Review of Economics and Statistics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1668156 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1668156

Sonal Pandya (Contact Author)

University of Virginia ( email )

PO Box 400787
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
United States

Rajkumar Venkatesan

University of Connecticut - Department of Marketing ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269
United States

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