The country-of-origin effect has been the focus of numerous studies in international marketing. The concept of stereotypes assumes importance in the study of country-of-origin effects. However, past research has failed to consider the cognitive structures that influence a person's use of the country-of-origin factor in product evaluation. This article attempts to fill this gap through a conceptualization that suggests that the country of origin may be an outcome of a combination of two processes—cultural stereotypes and personal beliefs. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.