Consumer Boycotts: Does Trust in Law-Making and Law-Enforcing Institutions Matter?

Consumer Boycotts: Does Trust in Law-Making and Law-Enforcing Institutions Matter?

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Ropaul, M. (2018). Consumer Boycotts: Does Trust in Law-Making and Law-Enforcing Institutions Matter?. Journal of Economic Issues, 52(3), 835-859.

ABSTRACT: This article estimates the effects of trust in political and judicial institutions on individuals’ propensity to take part in consumer boycotts. In particular, this study disentangles the effects of institutional trust and quality. The analysis relies on data from the 2010 European Social Survey, which is a path breaking comparative study of how justice is perceived and allows a valid measure of judicial and political trust to be constructed. A two-step instrumental variable method was used to measure the effects of institutional trust, controlling for micro- and macro- level factors. The results indicate that trust in law-making institutions is negatively associated with boycott participation, whereas the relationship between judicial trust in institutions and an individual’s likelihood to boycott is U-shaped. The findings are robust to the introduction of social capital and sociodemographic variables.

KEYWORDS: boycott, consumer behavior, institutional trust, two-step estimation, survey measurements

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