Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences – Volume 2

by Rasim Yilmaz (Volume editor) Günther Löschnigg (Volume editor)
©2018 Edited Collection 288 Pages


The second volume of «Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences» is a collection of empirical and theoretical research papers in the social sciences regarding the Balkans and the Near East written by researchers from several different universities and institutions. The studies include a wide range of topics from economic, financial, political, agricultural, sociological, international relations to historical, cultural, and feminist issues in the region of the Balkans and the Near East. The book is aimed at educators, researchers, and students interested in the Balkan and Near Eastern countries.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • The Relationship between Country of Origin, Consumer Ethnocentrism and Country Image: Literature Review (Burcu Mucan Özcan)
  • Country of Origin Image and Consumer Knowledge Effects on Product Evaluation and Purchase Intention (Onur İzmir)
  • The Public Debt and Unemployment Growth Nexus in the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) Countries and Turkey: Empirical Evidence (M. Hanefi Topal / Mehmet Bölükbaş / M. Kemal Bostan)
  • Global Wealth and Aging Population (Ercan Yaşar / Mine Yaşar)
  • Middle Income Trap: Conceptual and Theoretical Discussions (Hikmet Gülçin Beken)
  • The Reserve Options Mechanism in Turkey and a General Overview of the Reserve Option Coefficient (M. Veysel Kaya / Yunus Kutval)
  • Globalization and Monetary Policy (Haydar Akyazı / İbrahim Al)
  • Situation Analysis of Public Hospitals in the Eastern Black Sea Region in Terms of Disaster Management (Afşin Ahmet Kaya / Elif Çelenk Kaya / Ceren Kaya)
  • Marketing of Health Tourism in Turkey and the World (Rana Özyurt Kaptanoğlu)
  • The Concept of Disaster Waste and Disaster Management: A Conceptual Analysis (Vildan Oral / Afşin Ahmet Kaya)
  • Innovation in the Health Sector (Menekşe Varol Kılıçarslan)
  • Evaluation of Miners’ Knowledge Level Regarding Occupational Health and Safety (Elif Çelenk Kaya / Necla İrem Ölmezoğlu)
  • Religion and Female Labor Force Participation (Cüneyt Koyuncu / Yüksel Okşak)
  • The Impact of Religion on Corruption: Empirical Evidence (Eda Özen / Tufan Sarıtaş)
  • Does Corruption Deteriorate Labor Productivity?: Panel Evidence (Julide Yalcinkaya Koyuncu / Mustafa Ünver)
  • Renewable Energy Potential of Turkey (Süleyman Emre Özcan)
  • The Relationship between Fiscal Devaluation and Foreign Trade in Turkey: A Toda and Yamamoto Causality Approach (Nagihan Birinci / Murat Can Genç)
  • Asymmetric Effect of Exchange Rates on Exports: An Empirical Analysis of Exports from Turkey to the USA (Muhammed Benli)
  • The Relationship between Public Investment Expenditures and Private Investment Expenditures in Turkey (Adil Akinci)
  • The Topography of Social Security and Social Solidarity Expenditures in Turkey (Guner Tuncer / Ersin Nail Sagdic / Fazli Yildiz)
  • Ethical Leadership (Esin Benhür Aktürk)
  • Leaders as Ethical Role Models for 21st-Century Business Environment: Aspects from Humane-Oriented Contemporary Leadership Paradigms (Buket Akdöl)
  • Corporate Governance (Esin Benhür Aktürk)
  • A Study on Sustainability Reporting of Chemical Industry Firms in Turkey (Mehmet Sabri Topak)
  • Ottoman Economic Crisis: Sabri F. Ülgener’s Analysis Based on the Ottoman Economic Mentality (Özer Özçelik / Ezgi Babayiğit Sunay)
  • The Basic Preoccupations of Postcolonial Literature and the Windrush Generation (Hasan Boynukara / Cengiz Karagöz)
  • Gender of Color: When Did Girls and Boys Start to Wear Pink and Blue? (Gonca Uncu / Gülsüm Çalışır)

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Burcu Mucan Özcan

The Relationship between Country of Origin, Consumer Ethnocentrism and Country Image: Literature Review

1 Introduction

Effects of country of origin (COO) on consumers’ product choices become a popular topic as international trade grows and the consumers are increasingly faced with a choice between local and non-local (or foreign) brands (Akram et al., 2011: 292; Batra et al., 2000). As a result of the rapid globalisation of production, the definition of COO has become blurred in recent years (Ahmed et al., 2002). Some researchers define COO as the country where corporate headquarters of a company or brand is located (Al-Sulaiti and Baker, 1998: 150). According to Nagashima (1970, 1977) the term “made in …” refers to the product’s COO.

Globalisation causes consumers to develop similar tastes across countries, improves consumer desire for global image products and increases similarity in lifestyles across the world (Punyatoya, 2013: 193). The growth of multinational companies and the evaluation of hybrid products with components from many source countries have in many cases blurred the accuracy or validity of “made in …” labels (Al-Sulaiti and Baker, 1998: 150; Baker and Michie, 1995). For example, Samsung Electronics is currently manufacturing 50% of its mobile phones in Vietnam and only 8% of them in Korea (Jin-young, 2015). Another example is Zara fashion retailer, about half its clothes are made in Spain or nearby countries (Berfield and Baigorri, 2013). Thus, consumers have been unable to evaluate the relative importance of the source country and other relevant cues such as brand names in affecting consumer evaluations of products (Han and Terpstra, 1988).

Many researchers have attempted to evaluate how COO affects behaviours of consumers. The COO of a product on its label can influence consumers’ perceptions regarding quality of the product (Chryssochoidis et al., 2007: 1519; Bilkey and Nes, 1982) and their purchase decisions (Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009; Haubl, 1996). The purpose of this study is to examine relationships among COO, consumer ethnocentrism (CE) and country image perceptions by reviewing the literature on COO. ← 11 | 12 →

2 Literature review

2.1 Country of origin

The manufacturing location of products and its effect on consumer preferences have long been discussed in the marketing and international business literature under the concept of “country affiliation” (Elliott and Cameron, 1994: 50; Chao, 1989). Several researchers have examined the effect of COO on purchase intentions of consumers (Berry et al., 2015; Wang et al., 2012;Wel et al., 2015; Heslop et al., 2004; Acharya and Elliott, 2001; Lin and Chen, 2006), consumers’ overall evaluation of product quality and attitude towards brand (Agrawal and Kamakura, 1999: 55), product evaluation (Ahmed et al., 2002; Kaynak et al., 2000; Katsumata and Song, 2016; Josiassen et al., 2008; Karunaratna and Quester, 2007) and brand perception (Koubaa, 2008; Fetscherin and Toncar, 2009; Magnusson et al., 2011).

According to Bilkey and Nes (1982: 89), both empirical observations and experiments indicate that COO has a considerable influence on the quality perceptions of a product. Most of COO effect studies have focused on high-involvement products (e.g. automobiles and electronics) for which consumers usually look beyond cues such as price or design in making their purchase decision (Ahmed et al., 2004: 103). The study of Kaynak et al. (2000: 1238) reveals that the products that originated from advanced developed countries were perceived to be associated with similar attributes such as good or very good quality, reliability, performance and good workmanship, and the products originating from developing countries of the South were perceived to be less desirable in quality. Kaynak and Kara (2002) found that Turkish consumers had significantly different perceptions of products coming from countries with different levels of socio-economic and technological development. Maheswaran (1994: 362) found that consumers’ level of expertise and the strength of attribute information determine influences of COO on product evaluations. Consumers’ knowledge about a product’s COO has an impact on their subsequent product evaluations (Kaynak and Kara, 2002). Study of Cilingir and Basfirinci (2014) reveals that COO cues have a significant effect on the product evaluation process.

2.2 Consumer ethnocentrism

In 1906, the concept of consumer ethnocentrism was introduced by William G. Sumner (Chryssochoidis et al., 2007: 1519). Several studies have attempted to evaluate CE (Jiménez and Martín, 2014; Zolfagharian and Sun, 2010; Chryssochoidis et al., 2007; Balabanis and Diamantopoulos, 2004; Zolfagharian et al., 2014; Watson and Wright, 2000). CE focuses the loyalty of consumers to products ← 12 | 13 → manufactured in their home country (Shimp and Sharma, 1987). Zolfagharian et al. (2014) examined how the COO and CE affect first-generation immigrants. Results indicate that non-ethnocentric immigrants favour the products of economically advanced countries. Ethnocentric immigrants prefer the products of their home and host countries to foreign products, regardless of the economic standing of the foreign country. Chryssochoidis et al. (2007) evaluated the CE and its implications on their evaluation of food products. They found that CE and COO effect are linked together. Cilingir and Basfirinci (2014) suggested some important points regarding the relationship between COO and CE. Their study points out that consumers consider the COO as an indicator of risk reduction and quality. COO also serves as an indicator of one’s group identity which is the link between COO and CE concepts.

2.3 Country image and product attributes

Some of the COO studies have examined the link between country images and products. Country images are considered as mental representations of a country’s people, products, culture and national symbols (Verlegh and Steenkamp, 1999: 525). The image of countries as origins of products is one of many extrinsic cues, such as price and brand name, that may become part of a product’s total image (Laroche et al., 2005). According to Nagashima (1970: 68), the “made in” image is the picture, the reputation, the stereotype that businesspersons and consumers attach to products of a specific country. This image is created by representative products, national characteristics, economic and political background, history and traditions. Souiden et al. (2011) found that compared to country of origin, country’s image is a more effective tool in reducing consumers’ uncertainty and increasing their aspiration to purchase high-technology products.

Consumers’ perceptions of the COO of a product comprise three components: a cognitive component (include consumers’ beliefs about the country’s industrial development and technological advancement), an affective component (consumers’ affective response to the country’s people) and a conative component (consumers’ desired level of interaction with the manufacturing country) (Laroche et al., 2005). When consumers are unfamiliar with a product, country image may serve as a “halo effect”, through which consumers infer product attributes (Ahmed et al., 2002: 282). The halo hypothesis has two theoretical implications. First, consumers make inferences about product quality from country image. Second, country image affects consumer rating of product attributes (Han, 1989: 223). Researchers have revealed that country images have considerable effect on consumers’ product evaluations (Wang et al., 2012; Laroche et al., 2005; Han, 1989; ← 13 | 14 → Kaynak and Kara, 2002; Agarwal and Sikri, 1996; Roth and Diamantopoulos, 2009). Laroche et al. (2005: 96) found that when a country’s image has a strong affective component, its direct influence on product evaluations is stronger than its influence on product beliefs. Alternatively, when a country’s image has a strong cognitive component, its direct influence on product evaluations is smaller than its influence on product beliefs.

Many researchers studied the relationship between COO and product evaluations (Bilkey and Nes, 1982; Maheswaran, 1994; Elliott and Cameron, 1994; Wang et al., 2012; Nagashima, 1970, 1977; Ahmed et al., 2004; Lin and Chen, 2006). These studies suggest that consumers evaluate a product according to information cues (Han and Terpstra, 1988; Elliott and Cameron, 1994; Bilkey and Nes, 1982). Such cues can be analysed under two categories, namely, intrinsic (e.g. taste, design, performance) and extrinsic (e.g. price, brand name, warranties) (Han and Terpstra, 1988: 236). This information is used by consumers to form their preferences and purchase decisions, but it also elicits emotions, feelings, imagery and fantasies (Verlegh and Steenkamp, 1999: 522). COO has considerable effect on product evaluations. For example, consumers recognise that the production of high-quality technical products requires a highly trained and educated workforce. Hence, they perceive that such products are of better quality when produced in developed countries (Verlegh and Steenkamp, 1999: 525). The findings of a study by Maheswaran (1994: 362) suggest that consumers’ level of expertise and the strength of attribute information determine the extent to which COO influences product evaluations.

3 Conclusion

The effects of COO on consumers’ product choices become a popular topic as international trade grows and the consumers are increasingly faced with a choice between local and non-local (or foreign) brands. COO can affect behaviours of consumers. The COO of a product on its label may influence consumers’ perceptions regarding the quality of product they intend to purchase and eventually their purchase decisions. Thus, COO provides consumers with additional information that has both direct and indirect effects on purchase intentions of consumers. Empirical studies indicate that COO of a product affects product evaluations of consumers. COO also affects the product and purchase perceptions. In the literature, the link between COO and country image and the link between COO and country ethnocentrism are also analysed. ← 14 | 15 →


Acharya, C. and Elliott, G. (2001). “An examination of the effects of ‘country-of-design’ and ‘country-of-assembly’ on quality perceptions and purchase intentions”. Australasian Marketing Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 61–75.

Agarwal, S. and Sikri, S. (1996). “Country image: consumer evaluation of product category extensions”. International Marketing Review, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 23–39.

Agrawal, J. and Kamakura, W.A. (1999). “Country of origin: a competitive advantage?”. International Journal of Research in Marketing, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 255–267.

Ahmed, Z.U., Johnson, J.P., Ling, C.P., Fang, T.W. and Hui, A.K. (2002). “Country-of-origin and brand effects on consumers’ evaluations of cruise lines”. International Marketing Review, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 279–302. DOI: 10.1108/02651330210430703.

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Balabanis, G. and Diamantopoulos, A. (2004). “Domestic country bias, country of origin effects, and consumer ethnocentrism: a multidimensional unfolding approach”. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 80–95.

Baker, M.J. and Michie, J. (1995). “Product country images: perceptions of Asian cars”. Working Paper Series No. 95/3, Department of Marketing, University of Strathclyde.

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ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2018 (December)
Health Economics Regional Economics Business Marketing International Relations
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2018. 287 pp., 32 fig. b/w, 69 tables

Biographical notes

Rasim Yilmaz (Volume editor) Günther Löschnigg (Volume editor)

Rasim Yilmaz currently teaches economics and finance-related subjects in Turkey. His field of interest comprises microfinance and the fight against poverty, the economy of China, and macroeconomics. Günther Löschnigg is Professor at the University of Graz, Austria. His research interests include labor economics and public economics.


Title: Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences – Volume 2