Consumption

  • Luigi Pistaferri

Leader: Luigi Pistaferri

The study of poverty and inequality has long privileged measures of income over those of consumption. Does this lead us awry? The purpose of the Consumption RG, which the CPI has founded only recently, is to monitor trends in consumption-based poverty and inequality and to understand the sources of those trends. The analyses within this RG will focus on the individual components of consumption because they are not always moving in lockstep. For example, inequality in the ownership of major durables has been declining, whereas inequality in nondurables, services, and food consumption has been increasing. The trends in food consumption are further complicated, however, because coloric intake is not growing more unequal, partly as a result of assistance provided by SNAP. The main rationale for setting up this RG is that patterns of consumption, especially among the poor, appear to be changing in complicated ways that require careful study and documenting. Although in principle the well-being of households may be better assessed with consumption than income, a consumption-based approach is thus complicated by the very different trends across the components of consumption and by difficulties in knowing the value assigned to the quality of goods that are consumed.

Consumption - CPI Research

Title Author Media
Rising Inequality? Changes in the Distribution of Income and Consumption in the 1980's Cutler, David M. and Lawrence F. Katz

Rising Inequality? Changes in the Distribution of Income and Consumption in the 1980's

Author: Cutler, David M. and Lawrence F. Katz
Publisher: American Economic Review
Date:
Conspicuous Consumption and Expenditure Visibility: Measurement and Application Ori Heffetz

Conspicuous Consumption and Expenditure Visibility: Measurement and Application

Author: Ori Heffetz
Publisher:
Date:

Consumption - Other Research

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Consumption - Multimedia

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