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Title: The effect of life values and materialism on buying counterfeit products
Author: Adrian Furnham, Halldór Valgeirsson [University College London]

Journal of Socio-Economics 36, no. 5: 677-685

Year: 2007


Subject/Type: Counterfeiting, Piracy
Focus: Aircraft and Auto Parts, Apparel and Shoes, Brands (deceptive counterfeits), Brands (non-deceptive counterfeits), Consumer Electronics / Electronic Equipment, Film, Medicines and Medical Devices, Music, Necessity Goods, Personal Care Products, Watches
Country/Territory: United Kingdom
Objective: To understand what lies behind the willingness to buy counterfeit products.
Sample: 102 adults in a central London district
Methodology: Questionnaire

Main Findings

The willingness to buy different counterfeit products varies widely: while respondents were quite willing to buy counterfeits such as pens, clothes, CDs, household products, music tapes and videos, they were clearly less willing to buy fake perfumes, car parts, music instruments, stereos, and drugs.

Background information proved to be the strongest predictor of the willingness to buy counterfeit products – respondents with the following characteristics were most likely to buy them: those who were a first child; those who have children and are married or living together; those who do not have religious family background; those who stand on the right-wing of politics (as opposed to those on the left or in the middle).

Beliefs about counterfeit products also affected the willingness to buy counterfeits: those who believe that they are getting good value for money when buying counterfeit products are more likely to be willing to buy them; those who believe that counterfeit products are dangerous, and that laws against commerce with them should be strengthened are less likely than others to buy counterfeit goods.

To a lower extent, beliefs about materialism also explain the willingness to buy counterfeit goods: the greater the preference of a person to own real, authentic things, the lower the willingness to buy counterfeit products.

Life values (personal values of universalism and conformity) do no add explanation to the willingness to buy counterfeit goods.

The author therefore concludes that, where background information is known, it is not practical to look at information from personality traits (i.e. life values): it is more or less your upbringing, family structure and politics that predict willingness to buy counterfeit goods. In addition, specific questions about beliefs and opinions regarding counterfeiting should be asked.

[Date Added: Oct 22, 2008 ]