Explaining green purchasing behavior: A cross-cultural study on American and Chinese consumers

Yee Kwong Chan, Lorett B.Y. Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

304 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the applicability of the Theory of Planned Behavior to green purchasing behavior in the Chinese and American cultural settings. To this end, consumers in Shanghai and Los Angeles were surveyed and the relevant structural equation modeling analysis indicates the satisfactory external validity of the model in explaining eco-friendly purchases of the Chinese and American consumers. Despite the general universality of the model, the cross-group analysis highlights that both subjective norm and perceived behavioral control exert stronger influences on Chinese consumers' behavioral intention than on American consumers. Moreover, the translation of green purchasing intention to corresponding behavior is found to be more effective in the American sample. These cross-group variances are likely to be attributed to cultural differences and discrepancies in the environmental development of the two nations, and would provide policy makers and green marketers useful insights into fine-tuning their pervasive and intervening strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-40
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of International Consumer Marketing
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2002


  • Attitude
  • Green purchasing behavior
  • Perceived behavioral control
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Subjective norm
  • The theory of planned behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing


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