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The impact of economic policy uncertainty, news framing and information overload on panic buying behavior in the time of COVID-19: a conceptual exploration

Abdulqadir Rahomee Ahmed Aljanabi (Department of Public Relations and Marketing, Sulaimani Polytechnic University, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 21 June 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This conceptual paper aims to provide a further understanding of the impact of economic policy uncertainty (EPU), news framing and information overload on panic buying behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on earlier research and news releases about the COVID-19 outbreak, this paper advances testable propositions based on the protection motivation theory and information processing theory.

Findings

This paper infers that the major shift in consumer decision-making towards panic buying is a result of high EPU. International reports have contributed to deepening this uncertainty, and the consequences of this EPU are expected to affect the economic recovery through 2022. Furthermore, the adoption of particular frames of the pandemic has played a key role in the dissemination of misinformation and fake news during the public health crisis and affected purchasing decisions. The study also infers that the perceived threat among consumers is driven by information overload as a source of mistrust towards economic and health information sources.

Originality/value

This paper addresses two theoretical gaps associated with consumer buying behaviour. First, it highlights the impact of EPU, as a macroeconomic indicator, on consumer buying behaviour. Second, this paper is an attempt to integrate theories from different disciplines to foster an adequate understanding of buying behavior during the COVID-19 outbreak period.

Keywords

Citation

Aljanabi, A.R.A. (2021), "The impact of economic policy uncertainty, news framing and information overload on panic buying behavior in the time of COVID-19: a conceptual exploration", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOEM-10-2020-1181

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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