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French Automobiles and the Chinese Boycotts of 2008: Politics Really Does Affect Commerce

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Author Info

  • Hong Canhui

    ()
    (Beijing University)

  • Hu Wei-Min

    ()
    (National Chengchi University)

  • Prieger James E.

    ()
    (Pepperdine University)

  • Zhu Dongming

    ()
    (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)

Abstract

We explore the economic impact of boycotts of French automobiles in China during the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Conditions were favorable for a boycott, enabling Chinese consumers to overcome the collective action problems that can prevent boycott success and other voluntary contributions to public goods. We use brand and model level data in a difference-in-difference specification to investigate the boycotts’ effects on sales. A robust pattern of large impacts emerges: sales of French automobile brands fell 25-33 percent or more. Consumers substituted mostly toward Chinese and other Asian cars. The sales of the French models did not experience similar relative sales declines in countries other than China—triple-difference estimates point toward even larger relative loss of market share in China. Our results provide evidence that commerce can be used as an effective political weapon.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 1-38

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:26

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Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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Cited by:
  1. Vasiliki Fouka & Joachim Voth, 2012. "Reprisals remembered: German-Greek conflict and car sales during the Euro crisis," Economics Working Papers 1394, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2013.
  2. Sofronis Clerides & Peter Davis & Antonis Michis, 2010. "The Impact of the Iraq War on US Consumer Goods Sales in Arab Countries," Working Paper Series 25_10, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  3. Sofronis Clerides & Peter Davis & Antonis Michis, 2013. "National Sentiment and Consumer Choice: The Iraq War and Sales of US Products in Arab Countries," Working Paper Series 41_13, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.

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