, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 37–67 | Cite as

Consumer boycotts: The impact of the Iraq war on French wine sales in the U.S.

  • Larry Chavis
  • Phillip LeslieEmail author


The French opposition to the war in Iraq in early 2003 prompted calls for a boycott of French wine in the US. We measure the magnitude of consumers’ participation in the boycott, and look at basic evidence of who participates. Conservative estimates indicate that the boycott resulted in 26% lower weekly sales at its peak, and 13% lower sales over the 6 months period that we estimate the boycott lasted. Although theory suggests consumers would not participate in boycotts due to a free-rider problem, these findings indicate that businesses should be concerned that consumers may boycott their products. We also find that neither political preferences nor media attention are important determinants of boycott participation.


Boycott Wine Free-riding Consumer behavior 

JEL Classification

M31 D12 L66 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of BusinessStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  3. 3.National Bureau of Economic ResearchCambridgeUSA

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