Geography as branding: Descriptive evidence from Taobao
Pradeep Chintagunta () and
Junhong Chu ()
Additional contact information
Junhong Chu: NUS Business School
Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), 2021, vol. 19, issue 1, No 2, 53-92
Abstract The geographic associations of brands and branding have been well demonstrated in the country-of-origin (COO) effect literature in that a product’s COO has a branding effect and consumers have preferences for goods from specific countries. The aggregation of these preferences can lead to unique and asymmetric trading patterns between countries. In this paper, we extend the geographic associations of brands and branding to domestic trade and document that seller provinces have a branding effect and geographic preference asymmetries can arise within peer-to-peer trade networks such as Taobao in China. We find that while buyers in one province in China are willing to purchase goods from sellers in another province, it is often the case that the relationship is not reciprocal. This asymmetry in preferences persists after controlling for time-varying factors at both buyer and seller locations. Like brands, a location therefore serves as a quality cue and reputation mechanism for the unobserved attributes of sellers, products, and logistics services from that location. We then explore factors that might be correlated with these time-invariant preferences across provinces. We find that in addition to the gravity effect of distance and the home-bias effect, other factors such as dyadic trust; migration; similarities in ethnicities; occupations and education levels; and levels of marketization and rule of law are correlated with the asymmetries. Notably, these factors differ from those identified in a contemporaneous study of eBay in the US, in which religiosity and political ideology contribute to the differences (Elfenbein et al. 2018). We believe that the Chinese and the US experiences differ because the two countries differ substantially in social, economic, political, religious, legal, and commercial environments.
Keywords: Geographic associations; Place marketing; Location branding; Country-of-origin effect; Reputation mechanism; Asymmetric geographic preferences; Peer-to-peer platforms; Trust; Socioeconomic and cultural similarity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 L81 M31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11129-020-09232-9 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:kap:qmktec:v:19:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1007_s11129-020-09232-9
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... ng/journal/11129/PS2
Access Statistics for this article
Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME) is currently edited by Pradeep Chintagunta
More articles in Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME) from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().