Covered in Gold: Examining gold consumption by middle class consumers in emerging markets

Jingting Liu
International Business Review, Volume 25, Issue 3, Pages 739-747

As wealth and status rise for middle class (MC) consumers in emerging markets (EMs), they increasingly acquire gold for both consumption and investment. The authors delineate a conceptual map for gold consumption drawing insights from the context of MC in EMs. Perceived benefits of gold and disposable income directly determine the attractiveness and availability of gold for individual consumers. Cultural, institutional and economic factors account for country variations in gold consumption. Based on theoretical considerations and empirical evidence, we contend that gold consumption and disposable income have a curvilinear relationship: as EMs mature and MC consumers’ shopping baskets become more diverse and sophisticated, their gold consumption decreases and eventually stabilizes.