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Consumer Boycotts: The Impact of the Iraq War on French Wine Sales in the U.S


  • Larry Chavis
  • Phillip Leslie


The French Opposition to the war in Iraq in early 2003, prompted calls for a boycott of French wine in the US. We measure the magnitude of consumers%u2019 participation in the boycott, and look at basic evidence of who participates. Conservative estimates indicate that the boycott resulted in 26% lower weekly sales at its peak, and 13% lower sales over the six month period that we estimate the boycott lasted for. These findings suggest that business should be concerned that their actions may provoke a boycott which hurts their profits. We also find that neither political preferences or media attention are important determinants of boycott participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Larry Chavis & Phillip Leslie, 2006. "Consumer Boycotts: The Impact of the Iraq War on French Wine Sales in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 11981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11981
    Note: IO

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stefano DellaVigna & Ethan Kaplan, 2007. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1187-1234.
    2. David P. Baron, 2003. "Private Politics," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 31-66, March.
    3. Teoh, Siew Hong & Welch, Ivo & Wazzan, C Paul, 1999. "The Effect of Socially Activist Investment Policies on the Financial Markets: Evidence from the South African Boycott," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72(1), pages 35-89, January.
    4. Koku, Paul Sergius & Akhigbe, Aigbe & Springer, Thomas M., 1997. "The Financial Impact of Boycotts and Threats of Boycott," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 15-20, September.
    5. Andrew John & Jill Klein, 2003. "The Boycott Puzzle: Consumer Motivations for Purchase Sacrifice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(9), pages 1196-1209, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hwang, Byoung-Hyoun, 2011. "Country-specific sentiment and security prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 382-401, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Guy Michaels & Xiaojia Zhi, 2010. "Freedom Fries," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 256-281, July.
    4. Zijun Luo & Yonghong Zhou, 2016. "Gainers and Losers of Political Instability: Evidence from the Anti-Japanese Demonstration in China," Working Papers 1608, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
    5. Cuadras-Morató Xavier & Raya Josep Maria, 2016. "Boycott or Buycott?: Internal Politics and Consumer Choices," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 16(1), pages 185-218, January.
    6. Baron, David P., 2011. "Credence attributes, voluntary organizations, and social pressure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1331-1338.
    7. Wang, Zhongmin & Lee, Alvin & Polonsky, Michael, 2015. "Egregiousness and Boycott Intensity: Evidence from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill," Discussion Papers dp-15-06, Resources For the Future.
    8. repec:kap:jbuset:v:146:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3653-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:9:p:1958-1988 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Heilmann, Kilian, 2016. "Does political conflict hurt trade? Evidence from consumer boycotts," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 179-191.
    11. TANAKA Ayumu & ITO Banri & WAKASUGI Ryuhei, 2017. "How Do Exporters Respond to Exogenous Shocks: Evidence from Japanese firm-level data," Discussion papers 17027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Hong Canhui & Hu Wei-Min & Prieger James E. & Zhu Dongming, 2011. "French Automobiles and the Chinese Boycotts of 2008: Politics Really Does Affect Commerce," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-38, May.
    13. Murat Hakan Altintas & Bahar F. Kurtulmusoglu & Hans Ruediger Kaufmann & Serkan Kilic, 2013. "Consumer boycotts of foreign products: a metric model," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 15(34), pages 485-504, June.
    14. Hendel, Igal E & Lach, Saul & Spiegel, Yossi, 2015. "Consumers' Activism: the Facebook boycott of Cottage Cheese," CEPR Discussion Papers 10460, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General

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