Middle-Class Consumers in Emerging Markets: Conceptualization, Propositions, and Implications for International Marketers

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As emerging markets gain significance in the global economy, understanding the middle-class customers within these dynamic economies becomes even more critical for international marketers. This article contributes to the limited but growing literature on this topic. International marketing scholars and practitioners should be better informed about this megatrend. What does the “middle class” really mean? What are the theoretical underpinnings for the middle-class phenomenon? What are the implications for international marketing? To address these pressing questions, the authors explore the middle-class phenomenon in emerging markets. Through an examination of conceptual underpinnings and empirical observations, they present a conceptualization and several theoretical propositions. Finally, they provide managerial and scholarly implications of the middle-class phenomenon and offer suggestions for further research.



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