Climbing out of the economic crisis: Reciprocal relationships between consumer sentiment and personal stress over time

R. van Giesen, Rik Pieters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research examines bidirectional relationships between consumer sentiment and personal stress. It seeks to answer the question whether reduced consumer sentiment (consumer perceptions about the global, national and personal economic situation) raises personal stress levels, and whether increased personal stress levels depresses consumer sentiment. Finding such relationships would reveal a pathway from economic to personal well-being, as reflected in personal stress, and the other way around. A large longitudinal study in the Netherlands with a total of eight waves across three years (2012–2014), 4 waves during and 4 waves after the recent worldwide economic crisis, finds on average low personal stress levels among consumers, which is reassuring. Also and as expected, consumers are more positive about the state of the economy after than during the crisis. Importantly, more positive consumer sentiment indeed contributes to lower levels of personal stress. Moreover, the more personal stress consumers experience, the more pessimistic they are about the state of the economy after the crisis, whereas this connection is weaker during the crisis. This sheds new light on the pathways between consumer sentiment about the economy and their personal well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-124
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Volume70
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • consumer sentiment
  • personal stress
  • economic crisis
  • longitudinal panel study
  • nonrecursive path models

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