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Understanding consumer stockpiling: Insights provided during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Nelson Borges Amaral, Bin Chang and Rachel Burns

Journal of Consumer Affairs, 2022, vol. 56, issue 1, 211-236

Abstract: This article examines data collected early in the COVID‐19 pandemic to uncover the underlying factors that are related to consumer stockpiling in response to a global pandemic. A survey of 1325 American consumers from March 27, 2020 to March 29, 2020 revealed that 55.5% of respondents stockpiled. Locus of control (LOC), the extent to which a person believes the environment is controllable and responsive, is associated with the stockpiling decision. More specifically, after controlling for demographic characteristics, consumers with internal LOC are less likely to stockpiling than those with external LOC. We also find that consumers with higher health risk are more likely to stockpile. Together, our results provide valuable insight for practitioners and policy makers who are concerned with understanding and reducing consumer stockpiling during health‐related crises.

Date: 2022
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