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GTAP Resource #6320

"Does Covid-19 make consumers discriminate Chinese products? – Evidence from Amazon"
by Cortes Selva, Alma and Danyang Zhang

Covid-19 has tremendously affected all areas of our lives and our online shopping choices have not been immune. Country of origin (COO) is an important characteristic used by global marketers to influence customer decisions (Agrawal and Kamakura, 1999), with the COO being used by the consumers to make “quality judgments of a product”. Even though there is no valid reason to avoid Chinese products, our research shows that a significant number of consumers around the world now try to avoid buying products manufactured in China and that there has been a rise in discriminatory online review ratings for Chinese products, especially with regards to personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically facemasks.
According to WHO, the spread of Covid-19 through international products is extremely unlikely. However, given that China was the first country to report cases of Covid-19, it has led many to associate Covid-19 and China. To make matters worse, there have been prominent political leaders that have used language to stigmatize China with blame and fear around Covid-19. Such language stigmatizes Chinese products with unfounded health concerns and encourages unfair discrimination based on false blame and unwarranted distrust. Discrimination against Chinese products could result in significant shifts in trade patterns, especially in the United States where China is the largest importer of goods. In 2019, China exports to the United States totaled $451.7 billion.
To study this question, we compiled data from Amazon on all facemask products sold on the site between September 10th and 24th, including the seller, review rating, sales data, price, product features, and every review. We find that facemasks manufactured in China are generally priced lower than facemasks made in the United States even with practically identical products.

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: 2021 Conference Paper
Status: Not published
By/In: Presented during the 24th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis (Virtual Conference)
Date: 2021
Version: Work in Progress
Created: Cortes Selva, A. (4/15/2021)
Updated: Batta, G. (5/18/2021)
Visits: 852
- Demographics
- Economic crisis
- Asia (East)
- North America

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