French Roast: Consumer Responses to International Conflict - Evidence from Supermarket Scanner Data
88 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2010 Last revised: 13 Jan 2015
Date Written: August 2014
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: Suggested Citation