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Economic hardship and neighborhood diversity: Influences on consumer well‐being
The Journal of Consumer Affairs  (IF2.131),  Pub Date : 2021-03-26, DOI: 10.1111/joca.12365
Chan‐Hoong Leong, Soo Jiuan Tan, Elizabeth A. Minton, Siok Kuan Tambyah

Residential neighborhoods shape consumers' well‐being in many profound ways. However, research has yet to adequately understand how consumers' perceived economic hardship interact with neighborhood's income and diversity to influence well‐being. We examine these effects in a diverse and densely populated Asian country of Singapore using four measures of well‐being: perceived quality of life, emotional well‐being, status consciousness, and consumer needs satisfaction. Results from a national sample of 1,445 respondents showed that consumers that were female rather than male, of immigrant origin rather than native born, representing an ethnic minority background, or had fewer economic challenges reported higher well‐being. The relation between economic hardship and consumer well‐being was moderated by neighborhood‐level socioeconomic status (SES) and diversity, such that more economic hardship predicted lower well‐being but only among residents in low SES or heterogeneous neighborhoods. Findings build on social comparison theory, and implications for consumer welfare and marketing practice are provided.