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Climbing out of an economic crisis: A cycle of consumer sentiment and personal stress

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  • van Giesen, Roxanne I.
  • Pieters, Rik

Abstract

This research examines bidirectional relationships between consumer sentiment and personal stress. It seeks to answer the question whether reduced consumer sentiment (consumer perceptions about the global, national and personal economic situation) raises personal stress levels, and whether increased personal stress levels depresses consumer sentiment. Finding such relationships would reveal a pathway from economic to personal well-being, as reflected in personal stress, and the other way around. A large longitudinal study in the Netherlands with a total of eight waves across three years (2012–2014), 4 waves during and 4 waves after the recent worldwide economic crisis, finds on average low personal stress levels among consumers, which is reassuring. Also and as expected, consumers are more positive about the state of the economy after than during the crisis. Importantly, more positive consumer sentiment indeed contributes to lower levels of personal stress. Moreover, the more personal stress consumers experience, the more pessimistic they are about the state of the economy after the crisis, whereas this connection is weaker during the crisis. This sheds new light on the pathways between consumer sentiment about the economy and their personal well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • van Giesen, Roxanne I. & Pieters, Rik, 2019. "Climbing out of an economic crisis: A cycle of consumer sentiment and personal stress," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 109-124.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:70:y:2019:i:c:p:109-124
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2018.12.004
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