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Consumer ethnocentrism and willingness to buy: Analyzing the role of three demographic consumer characteristics

Alexander Josiassen (Department of Marketing, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark)
A. George Assaf (Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)
Ingo O. Karpen (School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 1 November 2011




The purpose of this paper is to clarify how demographic consumer characteristics influence and interact with consumer ethnocentrism on willingness to buy. The authors analyze the direct effects of selected characteristics on the tendency for consumer ethnocentrism. Further, the moderating effects of these consumer characteristics are investigated.


Data were gathered from 361 consumers in Australia. Data analysis was conducted using regression analysis with interactions and post hoc slope analysis.


The empirical findings show that consumer tendencies for ethnocentrism are directly influenced by characteristics of the customer. The authors also find that the strength of the relationship between consumer ethnocentrism and willingness to buy is influenced by customer characteristics. Specifically, age and gender are found to be important moderators of the consumer ethnocentrism‐willingness to buy relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The results of the study should be interpreted in view of certain limitations. For theory‐testing purposes, the study tests hypotheses in a particular context: Australian consumers. Consequently, caution is necessary in extrapolating the results to other national contexts.

Practical implications

On the one hand, the results provide managers with a detailed understanding of which customer groups are the most consumer ethnocentric. On the other hand, the results provide an understanding of which customer groups have the strongest consumer ethnocentrism‐willingness to buy link. These findings can be used to allocate resources to marketing.


Marketing researchers show that consumers rely on different cues and make different decisions depending on their tendency for consumer ethnocentrism. Academic research has also discovered important differences in the cognitive processes and behavior depending on demographic characteristics. However, there are competing views in the literature as to how these fundamental consumer characteristics influence and interact with consumer ethnocentrism. This study further clarifies the role of demographic consumer characteristics.



Josiassen, A., Assaf, A.G. and Karpen, I.O. (2011), "Consumer ethnocentrism and willingness to buy: Analyzing the role of three demographic consumer characteristics", International Marketing Review, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 627-646.



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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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