• Improving customer acquisition models by incorporating spatial autocorrelation at different levels of granularity

      Baecke, Philippe; Van den Poel, Dirk (2012)
      Several academic studies have been conducted to explore the link between taxes on tobacco products and consumption behavior, especially smoking cessation. While most research has been conducted by comparing static levels of taxation across states or countries, almost none have looked at the dynamic effects of taxes, let alone the context of a tax decrease that is non-homogeneous within a given country, alongside parallel phenomena such as resort to smuggling. Moreover, most research has failed to adopt a contingency framework taking into account potentially influent variables such as age and consumption levels. Using a unique dataset compiled by Statistics Canada, we estimate several models that explore consumers’ behavior towards cigarettes as taxes are rolled back, their resort to consuming smuggled products, as well as a range of individual factors that influence said behaviors. We show effects in the very short term - that is, right after taxes are decreased - and in the long term - that is, a little over one year after taxes have been rolled back. Our results suggest that consumption of smuggled cigarettes is directly and strongly linked to the level of taxes and that this behavior can be efficiently curbed by tax reduction. Tax cuts explain in the range of 17% a smoker’s decision to stop regularly consuming smuggled cigarettes. In addition, our results suggest that taxes themselves play a very limited role in explaining individuals’ propensity to quit or to start smoking, especially in comparison with age and current smoking levels. Our analyses show that, despite statistically significant effects attributable to the large sample size, the part of a smoker or non-smoker behavior that is explained by taxes is very small. In other words, while cigarette tax cuts do reduce propensity to quit or to remain a non-smoker, especially in the long run, they are responsible for about ½ of 1% of this decision. In comparison, models that take into account respondent age or, for smokers, the average number of cigarettes smoked daily, can explain in the order of 5% to 10% the variation in behavior - that is, 10 to 20 times as much as taxes only. These results suggest that, despite their statistically significant influence on smokers and non-smokers behavioral changes, tax cuts from an original level as high as $21 on a carton of 200 cigarettes are not key short-term and long-term behavioral change agents - that is, when taxes are that high, and in a context where about 20% of the population does smoke, tax cuts neither strongly induce non-smokers to start smoking nor strongly induce smokers not to quit smoking. However, they do, where smuggled products are readily available, strongly decrease smokers’ consumption of smuggled cigarettes. This should warrant further investigation of more effective means to curb smoking in this context, such as societal marketing efforts raising awareness of the short- and long-term health hazards associated with smoking
    • Including spatial interdependence in customer acquisition models: a cross-categroy comparison

      Baecke, Philippe; Van den Poel, Dirk (2012)
      Business–IT alignment has been consistently ranked as the number one concern of IT and business executives. Maintaining the alignment has been found to lead to stronger business performance, higher perceived value of IT and improved IS strategic planning, therefore addressing the issue is both important and timely. The economic growth in China in the last decade has led to greater availability of IT and its widespread use as a critical resource. Despite the increasing interest in Chinese IS issues by both researchers and practitioners, empirical research focusing on human- and organization-related IS issues in China is scarce. Using data collected from 130 business and IT executives from 22 companies in China, 11 of which were multinationals operating in China, we explored several questions in the area of business–IT alignment. An instrument designed to measure the six dimensions of business–IT alignment maturity was cross-validated using a sample of companies in China. Then, the instrument was refined to develop a measurement method that offered better reliability and validity in the context of Chinese companies. The relationship between the alignment maturity dimensions and IS strategic alignment was then examined. Finally, the alignment maturity of companies in China was assessed to provide a snapshot of business–IT alignment in China. A comparison between the 11 Chinese domestic companies and 11 multinational operating in China provided insight into the different IT practices of the two types of companies. Implications for researchers and practitioners are discussed.