Effect of conformism on firm selection, product quality and home bias
This paper discusses the effect of conformism on the demand for products that differ in quality and studies its implications for firm selection, entry, average quality, and trade pat- terns. Demand for each variety is shown to fall when consumers have a lower degree of conformism or when the distribution of conformism becomes more concentrated. This in- duces firms facing lower demand and of lower quality to exit the market, which raises average quality and diminishes product diversity. In an international trade context, home consumption bias is amplified when there is a lower degree of conformism. Home con- sumption bias is mitigated by the presence of global conformism, in which individuals tend to conform to people across the world rather than within their own country.