The Economics of Household Consumption

The Economics of Household Consumption

The Economics of Household Consumption

The Economics of Household Consumption

Synopsis

This book provides an overview of concepts, theories, and methods related to the study of household consumption. It summarizes the most recent data on consumption patterns and trends, together with factors that influence consumption--population trends, prices, and distribution of resources--and examines how consumption data are used by business, government, and other organizations. The purpose of the work is to give the student an understanding of household consumption patterns, including recent trends in household consumption in the United States, consumption patterns and problems in rich and poor countries, and applications to questions of public policy.

Excerpt

This book examines household consumption patterns and provides an understanding of how to use such knowledge. It has three general purposes, corresponding to the three major parts of the book: (1) to provide the tools students need in order to use information about household consumption, including major concepts and theories used in the study of consumption, empirical methodologies, and sources of data; (2) to describe current patterns, trends, and problems in household consumption in the United States and in other countries; and (3) to show how information about household consumption is used. Part H contains an original analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Consumer Expenditures, as well as information from published research.

Most of the data on consumption expenditures in the United States are for 1988 and are the most recent data available at the time this book was written. Data on income, prices, and other variables related to household consumption are also for 1988 where possible. Otherwise the most recent data available are reported. Much of the information is based on published analyses of data from surveys earlier than 1988.

The book is intended for upper-division undergraduate and graduate students who have career plans involving market analysis, government policy-making, or consumer education. Students are assumed to have a prior understanding. of microeconomic theory and statistics. Upon completing the book, students should have a working knowledge of the role that income and prices play in determining consumption behavior; be able to identify the effects of tastes and preferences, as well as other noneconomic factors, on patterns of consumption; understand and be able to manipulate measures of income and prices so as to account for effects of inflation on consumption; be familiar with consumption life-style groups in the United States and be able to identify sources of differences among them; be aware of the nature and scope of differences in consumption between the United States and other countries; understand the relationship between con-

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