The Pandemic Crisis Effects on Subjective Well-Being and Consumer Behavior: An Abstract

Gregory J. Kivenzor, Jose Marcos Carvalho de Mesquita, Erik Kostelijk, Elena Reutskaja, Andrew Ivchenko

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Humankind is collectively experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic crisis (CPC), one of the most harrowing crises in modern history. There are many publications in academic and practitioner sources studying various aspects of CPC effects. Policies differ – from strict lockdowns (India) to liberal protocols (Sweden) – but overall stress severely alters subjective well-being (SWB) across societies. Recent publications address mostly industry-specific or local crises, but to our knowledge, none of them yet offer a comprehensive model allowing academics and practitioners to understand the CPC effects on consumption intentions. We posit that the relationship among various aspects of life and intended future consumption is mediated by mental health reflecting consumers’ SWB. This research aims to fill this lacuna addressing a key research question: To what extent do mental states mediate the impact of CPC on post-crisis consumption intentions? In this research, we developed a theoretical framework establishing interconnections among the main subjective well-being (SWB) variables affected by a crisis: Life Satisfaction, Positive Emotions, Depression, and Anxiety. Then, we surveyed consumers from Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, and the USA to find their post-pandemic consumption intentions for products and services. The results are taletelling and carry implications for marketing theory and managerial decision-making. As expected, we confirmed that CPC strongly affects both utilitarian and hedonic consumption. Most consumers experience increased levels of Anxiety and Depression while Life Satisfaction and Positive Emotions decreased. Surprisingly, Positive Emotions increased for some individuals (e.g., urbanites working from home instead of commuting) which positively affected their hedonic and utilitarian consumption intentions. We found that Life Satisfaction stimulates utilitarian consumption intentions but insignificantly affects future hedonic consumption, possibly because Life Satisfaction is a phenomenon with significant temporal horizons. Real or perceived product scarcity trigger worries and increase consumers’ utilitarian consumption as do feelings of Depression and Anxiety. Interestingly, we demonstrated that higher levels of Depression and Anxiety stimulate hedonic consumption intentions as well. Possibly, people hope for better days and dream of future compensation for current losses. Our examination of the antecedents of future consumption intentions represents a significant contribution to the body of marketing theory. By surveying real-life consumers in four diversely developed markets, we developed a comprehensive picture on the impact of a crisis on consumer sentiment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


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