Abstract: David Dubois

10:00 How Do Social Movements Affect Identity-Based Consumption? #MeToo and the Demand for Gendered Product Attributes

david_duboisDavid Dubois, INSEAD

This research examines whether and how #Metoo – a major social movement simultaneously denouncing sexual harassment and advocating for greater gender equality in the workplace – affected the demand for gendered product attributes. Exploiting national differences in media exposure to #MeToo after October 15th 2017 across 32 OECD countries, together with high-frequency product-level stock-out data from a leading global fast fashion retailer (7.1 million observations; January 2017 – December 2018), we provide quasi-experimental evidence that #MeToo led to a significant fall in the demand for gendered product attributes (high heels, pink and red shoes). Building on the idea that consumers engage in identity-based consumption through dissociation from stigmatized identity facets or association with desired identity facets, we predict that \#Metoo decreased the demand for gendered attributes more (vs. less) when it triggered more (vs. less) interest for stigmatized than desired facets of women identity. To test these predictions, we analyze how local daily variations of online search data indicative of consumers’ interest for stigmatized (i.e., sexual harassment topic) and desired (i.e. gender equality topic) facets of women identity influence online shoe sales.

Session Chair: Liat Hadar, Tel-Aviv University