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International Journal of Bank Marketing ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print):33, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1583890


Purpose The authors draw on psychological reactance theory, collective mental programming, psychological profiles and financial vulnerability experiences to assess the possibility that the pandemic may induce transformative changes in households' behavioral intentions related to financial decisions after the pandemic is over. Design/methodology/approach Using a unique survey data drawn from four different countries located in North America, Europe, Africa and Latin America, the authors show that the stressful conditions that accompanied the pandemic have instigated a state of financial vulnerability and stimulated instinctual defensive mechanisms among consumers. Findings The study results indicate that households have intentions to make defensive decisions in spending, consumption, planning and investment. Furthermore, the authors report evidence that personal psychological heterogeneity (as an individual factor) and collective mental programming (as a cultural factor) play a significant role in shaping households' postpandemic financial intentions. Research limitations/implications The study findings carry important practical implications. For financial institutions, marketers and financial advisors, the authors' work implies that individual and collective factors affect people's perception and behavioral intentions in response to financial adversities. For social planners and legislators, the authors' work shows that they should expect not only short-term but also long-term reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originality/value Most research on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on households' financial behavior focuses on transitional adjustments made during the pandemic, and little emphasis has been placed on potential postpandemic adjustments. The authors contend that it would be a mistake to analyze the pandemic-induced crisis as a temporary financial hardship.