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Empirical regularities in South African consumption patterns

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  • Saroja Selvanathan
  • E. A. Selvanathan

Abstract

This article investigates a number of empirical regularities in the South African consumption patterns. The data support the following empirical regularities: (1) variability in consumption systematically exceeds the variability in prices; (2) law of demand; (3) income flexibility is about -0.5; (4) Engel's law; and (5) the demand hypotheses, demand homogeneity and Slutsky symmetry are acceptable. In contrast to the findings for a number of other countries, another important empirical regularity that consumer's utility function is additive is rejected for the South African consumers. Based on the implied demand elasticity estimates from the preferred model, it is found that food, housing and medical care are necessities, and clothing, furniture, transport and recreation are luxuries and demand for all the commodities are price inelastic.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2004)
Issue (Month): 20 ()
Pages: 2327-2333

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:36:y:2004:i:20:p:2327-2333

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References

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  1. Keller, W.J. & Van Driel, J., 1985. "Differential consumer demand systems," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 375-390.
  2. Kenneth Clements & Wana Yang & Dongling Chen, 2001. "The matrix approach to evaluating demand equations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(8), pages 957-967.
  3. Clements, Kenneth W & Selvanathan, Antony & Selvanathan, Saroja, 1996. "Applied Demand Analysis: A Survey," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(216), pages 63-81, March.
  4. Finke, Renate & Flood, Lennart R. & Theil, Henri, 1984. "Maximum likelihood and instrumental variable estimation of a consumer demand system for Japan and Sweden," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(1-2), pages 13-19.
  5. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-26, June.
  6. Clements, Kenneth W., 1982. "Divisia moments of Australian consumption," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-48.
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Cited by:
  1. Wolfhard Kaus, 2010. "Conspicuous Consumption and Race: Evidence from South Africa," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2010-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  2. Emerson Marinho & Maurício Benegas & Flávio Ataliba, 2005. "Vantagem Comparativa Dinâmica E Crescimento Endógeno Numa Economia Com Dois Setores: Agrícola E Industrial," Anais do XXXIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 33th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 141, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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