Understanding the Effect of Culture on E-Book Popularity during COVID-19 Pandemic



Coronavirus Pandemic has changed the way that people live, interact and communicate with others. Some modifications are transitory, while others seem to be permanent. Seeking for social and human development, many individuals find in educational courses a way to get a better quality of life. During the lockdown periods, reducing human contact, information technology plays an important role to enable the access of books by individuals. Cultural factors at a country level also can expand or decrease the interest in information technologies to access electronic books (e-books). Therefore, considering the lockdown limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper tests the effect of culture on e-book popularity among different countries. First, we observed a significant increase in the popularity of e-books during the lockdown period, which reinforces the potential that information technology has to generate different values for individuals and firms during lockdown restrictions. Large countries, and countries with better levels of information technology tend to search more for e-books during the lockdown. Moreover, masculinity and power distance are two dimensions of culture that seem to be related to the changes in the interest of e-books during pandemics. These results highlight new questions that can be explored in further research.