Demarketing, minorities, and national attachment

Amir Grinstein, Udi Nisan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


This study addresses two important global trends: protection of public goods, specifically the environment, and the emergence of multiethnic societies with influential minority groups. The study tests the effect of a government proenvironmental demarketing campaign on the deconsumption behavior of minority groups and the majority population. It suggests that minority consumers use consumption or deconsumption to manifest their social identity, beliefs, and goals as minorities in relation to the majority and that their motivation to respond positively to a government's demarketing campaign is shaped by their national attachment levels. The study was conducted in Jerusalem, Israel, and involved a large data set (N = 66,272) containing household-level data on actual behavior of consumers. The studied groups involved the majority of non-ultra-Orthodox Jews and three minority groups: Israeli Arabs, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and Jewish Russian immigrants. The findings show that in a proenvironmental context, government demarketing is more effective on the majority group than on any of the three minority groups. In addition, minority groups with lower national attachment levels respond more negatively to the demarketing effort. However, higher education levels lead to a more positive response across the majority and minority groups. A central implication of the findings is related to the benefits derived from demarketing for different consumer groups (majorities versus minorities based on religion, ethnicity, and immigration status). The findings also provide a benchmark for demarketing efforts in an environmental context. Finally, they suggest that policy makers and marketers should consider using demarketing more to complement regulatory and economic tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-122
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Demarketing
  • Environmental behavior
  • Minority groups
  • National attachment
  • Public goods
  • Public policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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