Vu Hoai Nam Dang

Vu Hoai Nam Dang

PhD Student

My research focuses on the illicit consumption of luxury wildlife products, consumer behavior, Asian consumerism, and social marketing. I am studying consumer preferences and the determinants of demand for rhino horn and tiger products. I am interested in investigating covert behaviors of the rich. My PhD is funded by the University of Copenhagen’s TALENT Doctoral Fellowship Program, which is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the People Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) and the Rufford Foundation. I plan to expand my studies to other luxury wildlife products, which could be a trigger of global pandemics like SARS or COVID-19.

Current research

Using Choice Experiments and the Theory of Planned Behavior to Model the Determinants of Demand for Rhino Horn in Vietnam

This project aims to build a detailed understanding of the determinants of demand for rhino horn in Vietnam in order to contribute to policy making and the design of optimally targeted consumer behavior modification strategies to most effectively reduce demand. Specific objectives of this research include:

1) Assessing the aspects of Vietnamese culture and consumerism that contribute to high demand for rhino horn;

2) Evaluating the importance of various social-psychological drivers of individual demand for rhino horn in Vietnam; 

3) Assessing what combination of changes in aspects that influence demand, such as price and the price of substitutes, sanctions, peer support or pressure, etc. will most effectively reduce demand for rhino horn.

Results of the project will be fed directly into the Government of Vietnam's efforts to develop policies to manage the wildlife trade, transnational organized wildlife crime, public health and traditional medicine. Furthermore, collaborations are established with relevant conservation organizations including Save the Rhino who will provide inputs and expect to use the results to develop effective and efficient behavioral modification campaigns to reduce the demand for rhino horn. The study will furthermore constitute an important academic contribution to the understanding of Asian culture and consumerism in relation to wildlife products.


Reference group influences and campaign exposure effects on rhino horn demand

While considerable effort is invested in rhino horn demand reduction campaigns, it is unclear to what extent users are exposed to and accept the selected messages in these ads. We investigate recall as an indicator of exposure and the influence of different reference groups by conducting fifty semi-structured interviews with confessed rhino horn users in Hanoi and using an interpretative thematic analysis. 



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