Date of Award

5-9-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Marketing

First Advisor

S. Tamer Cavusgil

Second Advisor

Naveen Donthu

Third Advisor

Leigh Anne Liu

Fourth Advisor

Denish Shah

Fifth Advisor

Jagdish Sheth

Sixth Advisor

Sengun Yeniyurt

Abstract

The international marketing literature has a common assumption that consumers across countries are becoming more similar in their consumption behavior over time. However, this assumption of global convergence of consumer spending has not been empirically tested in the literature. In this dissertation, we examine the convergence hypothesis across a heterogeneous set of countries and multiple product categories. In the first essay, we develop a conceptual framework of convergence of consumer spending behavior. In the second essay, we empirically test whether convergence is observed across markets and product categories over time. Finally, in the third essay, we investigate the effect of global convergence of consumer spending on market concentration and firms’ market shares. Using the four-firm concentration ratio, we compute the market concentration by industry in each market to investigate the effect of convergence on market concentration. We also examine the effect of convergence on market shares of individual firms, considering the moderating effects of country of origin, country of operation, and the degree of internationalization of the firm. We model the dependent variables, market concentration and market shares, using the fractional logit model. Our results show that there is an overall convergence trend across product categories and countries over time. Moreover, we find that convergence increases the market shares of the largest firms in a market. The findings of this study have theoretical and managerial implications on major marketing areas including global marketing strategy, internationalization, and market segmentation.

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