Historical Memory and Brand Preference

70 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2019 Last revised: 9 Apr 2019

See all articles by Nan Chen

Nan Chen

National University of Singapore (NUS) - School of Computing

Zemin (Zachary) Zhong

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

Date Written: April 8, 2019

Abstract

We study how historical memories of war affect current brand preference in the context of the Chinese automotive market. Our research design exploits two natural experiments: (i) the Imperial Japanese army's Continental Cross-Through Operation in China in 1944 that created local variations in historical memories, and (ii) the China-Japan conflict over the sovereignty disputes in 2012 that activated the memories. We find that, after the 2012 conflict, sales of Japanese cars dropped 8.5% more in invaded counties than in neighboring non-invaded counties, despite their having similar pre-trends. The effect persisted for more than 24 months. Consumers in invaded counties substituted domestic for Japanese cars. We find that the effect of invasion is higher in counties where more people experienced Japanese invasion, supporting the intergenerational transmission of memories. Finally, we find local protest partially mediates the effect.

Keywords: Brand, Economic History, Political Economy, China

JEL Classification: D73, P16, H70, L62

Suggested Citation

Chen, Nan and Zhong, Zemin (Zachary), Historical Memory and Brand Preference (April 8, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3326975 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3326975

Nan Chen

National University of Singapore (NUS) - School of Computing ( email )

13 Computing Drive
Computing 1
Singapore 117543, 117417
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/ttnanchen

Zemin (Zachary) Zhong (Contact Author)

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George St.
Rotman School of Management
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://zacharyzhong.com

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