Purchasing behaviour of ethnicities: Are they different?

Giang Trinh*, Huda Khan, Larry Lockshin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates actual purchasing behaviour of different ethnicities. Using a national representative sample of Chinese and Malay households in Malaysia, with their continuous purchases of toothpaste, body wash, packaged tea and plain sweet biscuits recorded over a two-year period of 2011–2012, we found that overall there is significant difference between purchasing frequency distributions of the two ethnic groups. However, after controlling for household size, we found mostly no significant differences between the two groups at small and medium household size, but a significant difference at large household size. We also found that the purchasing frequency distributions of the two ethnic groups are accurately modelled by the negative binomial distribution (NBD). The NBD also accurately predicts future purchasing behaviour of the different ethnic groups, highlighting a new application of Conditional Trend Analysis (CTA) in this context. Since both ethnic groups fit these models well, we suggest they follow the same underlying pattern of buying behaviour in consumer good categories and do not differ due to ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101519
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number4
Early online date25 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the editor Richard Lee and three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Chinese
  • Ethnicities
  • Malay
  • NBD
  • Purchasing behaviour


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