How Can "Made In The U.S.A." Be Bad For America?

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steve-maddenThe rally to design and manufacture within the United States is a call that's being issued by both sides of the political spectrum — and why not? It's a position that calls to strengthen the domestic economy, create jobs, and make the United States more competitive in the world market. But, a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri is contending that consumers are less likely to buy products made in the United States because they expect better quality and a higher price tag, even if there's no reason to.

Published in the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, the study showed subjects two identical white cotton T-shirts, and told them one was $40 and made in China, and the other was from the United States. When asked to price the "Made in the U.S.A." shirt, the subjects responded with $57 on average.

Said Assistant Professor Jung Ha-Brookshire, "Americans tend to severely overvalue apparel produced entirely in the U.S. This is concerning because if Americans place higher value on these U.S. products, they perceive those products to be too expensive and are less likely to buy them."

The Huffington Post reports that retailers are aware of this cognitive elevation and are pricing American goods at higher prices; when one radio cohost tried to only buy American-made for a year, it turned into a very pricey project. However, this kind of conscientious shopping is the kind of practice that's the goal for savvy consumers — for some of us, an extra $7 here and there is worth it. (Huffington Post)

Steve Madden Tote, $48, available at Steve Madden In a twist of irony, Steve Madden shoes are mostly made in China.