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Individual consumption within the household: a study of expenditures on clothing.

Julie A. Nelson, "Individual Consumption Within the Household: A Study of Expenditures on Clothing," BLS Working Paper No. 175, prepared in the Division of Price and Index Number Research, November 18, 1987.

Most studies of consumption behavior, including most studies of the consumption of clothing, investigate expenditures at the household level. The Interview portion of the Consumer Expenditure Survey, however, collects data on purchases of clothing according to the member for whom the purchase is made. These data, available on the Bureau's internal data base, provide a rare opportunity for direct investigation of the distribution of consumption within the household.

This paper uses multiple regression analysis to study the factors influencing the level of annual expenditure on clothing for individuals and to generate predicted mean values of expenditure based on these observable factors. The individuals studied are members of households which consist of two parents and their children under 17 years of age, for whom data were gathered for some 12-month period falling between January 1984 and December 1985. The factors hypothesized to influence clothing expenditure include the age, sex, and race of the household member, the total expenditures or income of the household unit, the age/sex composition of the remainder of the household, the educational levels and occupations of the parents, and geographic location.

The results suggest that expenditure on clothing for girls is generally higher than for boys, and expenditure on clothing for mothers higher than that for fathers. Expenditure elasticities with respect to permanent income are estimated as being near unity for children, but greater than unity for adults. Contrary to the usual assumption that expenditures increase with age, expenditures on children are estimated to be highest in infancy and in the mid-teen years, and lowest at early preschool ages.
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Title Annotation:Consumer Expenditure Survey Conference paper summaries
Author:Nelson, Julie A.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Aug 1, 1988
Previous Article:Housing structure attributes and tenure status.
Next Article:The autocovariance of expenditure shares from consumer expenditure survey data.

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