The type-of-internet-access digital divide and the well-being of ethnic minority and majority consumers: A multi-country investigation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Zhiyong Yang, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Wireless technologies and smartphones revolutionize the way consumers use the internet. How do these technological advancements affect consumer well-being or life satisfaction? We hypothesize that mobile- as compared to regular only- internet use enhances consumers' perceptions of personal economic situation, which in turn, enhances life satisfaction. Ethnic status (majority vs. minority) and national wealth (richer vs. poorer countries) set up boundary conditions for these effects. We test our hypotheses using multi-level modeling and a large scale multinational dataset covering responses of > 26,000 consumers from 21 countries. The results show that perceived personal economic situation mediates the relationship between type of internet access (regular vs. mobile) and life satisfaction; the positive effect of mobile internet use is weaker for ethnic minority than for majority consumers and stronger in poorer than in richer countries. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications for marketing and public policy.

Additional Information

Journal of Business Research, 82, 373–380
Language: English
Date: 2018
digital divide, majority and minority consumers, mobile internet, multi-level modeling, well-being

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