Why We Do What We Do? A Model of Activity Consumption
Journal of Marketing Research, Forthcoming
48 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2012
Date Written: August 19, 2012
Consumers’ time allocation decisions among various activities are fundamental to marketing research and consumer behavior. We construct a dynamic panel data model to examine how consumers allocate time to a portfolio of leisure activities over time. Our data comprise a longitudinal panel where we tracked 287 U.S. consumers’ time use, consumption motives, and expertise measures on a weekly basis from January to June 2011. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical research that examines the underlying mechanisms that guide the dynamics of an individual’s activity consumption. We demonstrate that expertise contributes to perceived benefits of an activity, which in turn leads to high value associated with it. Expertise also directly influences value obtained from an activity. And this expertise, in turn, is acquired over time through past consumption. This implies a chain from expertise to value to time use and back to expertise, which may lead consumers to form a lifestyle where they specialize in a subset of activities they know well. Consequently, expertise may be regarded as a key variable that explains lifestyle choices.
Keywords: time use, activity consumption, leisure activities, lifestyles, expertise, knowledge, dynamic allocation, multiple discrete-continuous model
JEL Classification: A10, A11, C10, C11, C13, C33, C42, C50, D00, J20, J22, J24
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