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Title:Conspicuous Consumption, Marketing, and Economic Development in Nigeria
Author(s):Uko, John Paul
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Marketing
Abstract:British colonial rule in Nigeria had left, among its many legacies, a small high-income western-educated elite whose members engage in conspicuous consumption and are also known to have a high import-propensity. Their preference for imports, when both the imported and locally-made versions of the same product are equivalent, is often seen as one facet of conspicuous consumption behavior which is detrimental to Nigeria's economic development.
Four 2 x 2 completely crossed factorial experiments, with 60 subjects per cell and 240 subjects in all, were conducted, using respectively beer, biscuits, tea and the automobile as the test products. The two factors were origin, manipulated as made-in-Nigeria and imported, and price manipulated as low price and high price. The stimulus products in each experiment were the same in all respects, except for the origin and price information printed on the product labels. The subjects were randomly selected from the western-educated elite in Calabar. Each subject underwent all four experiments, appearing in a different treatment condition in each experiment.
Each product was evaluated on two response measures, (a) the product's generic attributes, and (b) its symbolic attributes, i.e., its suitability for different kinds of conspicuous consumption. The responses were analyzed by experiment for origin, price and origin x price interaction effects and, where an effect was present, to determine on which of the two response measures the significant effect occurred.
In all but the biscuits experiment, origin effect was significant and the products carrying "imported" labels were preferred. Price effect was significant only in the automobile experiment where the higher-priced automobile was preferred. Preference for imports was, in every case, independent of price, except in the beer experiment where, for low-priced beers, origin had no effect. Preference for an 'imported' product was based more on its generic attributes than on its symbolic value.
From these results, it was concluded that (a) the western-educated elite consumers prefer imports for practical, product-related reasons rather than for conspicuous consumption, and (b) if products made or assembled in Nigeria demonstrated high quality performance, they would be equally acceptable to the consumer group studied.
Issue Date:1983
Description:221 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8410063
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1983

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