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Effect of conformism on firm selection, product quality and home bias

Sergey Kichko and Pierre Picard ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 185, issue C, 402-418

Abstract: This paper discusses the effect of conformism on the demand for products that differ in quality and studies its implications for firm selection, entry, average quality, and trade patterns. Demand for each variety is shown to fall when consumers have a lower degree of conformism or when the distribution of conformism becomes more concentrated. This induces firms facing lower demand and of lower quality to exit the market, which raises average quality and diminishes product diversity. In an international trade context, home consumption bias is amplified when there is a lower degree of conformism. Home consumption bias is mitigated by the presence of global conformism, in which individuals tend to conform to people across the world rather than within their own country.

Keywords: Conformism; Product quality; Firm heterogeneity; Consumer heterogeneity; Home consumption bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D43 F12 L16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.02.017

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:185:y:2021:i:c:p:402-418