In Governments We Trust: A Two-Country Brexit Field Experiement on Perceived Uncertainty as Mediator for Consumer Decisions

Erik Braun*, Sebastian Zenker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


For several years, the Brexit has been an ongoing political crisis with high uncertainty that nonetheless affects us in many ways. Until now, the academic debate has mainly emphasized the political, economic and legal consequences, while disregarding the social-psychological effects of the crisis. This article examined the relationships between trust in UK and EU government and perceived uncertainty, and how these relationships affected consumers’ choices (i.e., travelling decisions). We assessed these relationships in a two-country Brexit field experiment (UK and Germany; N = 1,228) confirming moderation by country differences, where trust in one’s own government has a weaker impact. In turn, the soft and hard Brexit scenarios moderated these country differences: for the British sample, the effect of trust in the EU government is stronger for a hard Brexit, while Germans showed a reversed and counterintuitive structure for trust in the UK government.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
Pages (from-to)335-346
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online 23 September 2021.


  • Brexit
  • Trust in government
  • Tourism economy
  • Consumers’ choices
  • Crisis management
  • Political crisis

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