Buying Local or Imported Goods? Profiling Non-income Consumers in Developing Countries



This study attempts to profile non-income consumers by examining their decisions to buy local or imported products. Hypotheses were drawn from discussions on the comparative advantages of advanced and developing countries, as well as the effects of a product's country-of-origin on customers' purchasing decisions.  Data was collected on 296 university students in Malaysia and analysed through probit regression analysis. The findings reveal that foreign products from advanced countries are preferred by male students because of the superior quality and brand image. On the other hand, family members encourage students to buy local products because they are perceived as being less expensive. Also, students who receive scholarships are more likely to buy local products than self-sponsored students. This research offers insights into ex-ante purchasing behaviour in developing countries particularly among non-income consumers.

Keywords: local products, imported products

JEL Classifications: F1, F4, Q37


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Author Biography

Abu H Ayob, National University of Malaysia

Abu H Ayob is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Management, National University of Malaysia. He holds an MSc in Management from Toulouse Business School and a PhD in Management Science from the Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, France. He is currently a visiting post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Strategic Management and Globalization, Copenhagen Business School. His primary research field is the internationalization of firms in emerging economies.




How to Cite

Ayob, A. H., & Wan Hussain, W. M. H. (2016). Buying Local or Imported Goods? Profiling Non-income Consumers in Developing Countries. International Review of Management and Marketing, 6(4), 688–695. Retrieved from