Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 88–101 | Cite as

National culture and life insurance consumption

  • Andy C W Chui
  • Chuck C Y KwokEmail author


This cross-disciplinary study examines the way national culture affects consumption patterns of life insurance across countries. Life insurance is a service that is abstract, complex, and focused on unsure future benefits. Because of the uncertainty and ambiguity inherent in the life insurance product, consumers are more likely to respond according to their cultural prescriptions. Our research hypotheses are tested empirically using Hofstede's cultural dimensions, and data from 1976–2001 across 41 countries. The findings show that individualism indeed has a significant, positive effect on life insurance consumption, whereas power distance and masculinity/femininity have significant, negative effects. The results are robust, even after controlling for economic, institutional and demographic determinants.


national culture insurance insurance consumption Hofstede 



We thank our colleagues Helen Doerpinghaus and Xu Huang for providing helpful comments. Andy Chui acknowledges the financial support from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (A-PG29), and Chuck Kwok gratefully acknowledges the support of the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of South Carolina for this research project.


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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Accounting and Finance, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  2. 2.University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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