Consumption and Social Identity: Evidence from India
AbstractWe examine spending on consumption items which have signaling value in social interactions across groups with distinctive social identities in India, where social identities are defined by caste and religious affiliations. The classification of such items was done by eliciting responses to a survey in India. We match the results of our survey with nationally representative micro data on household consumption expenditures. We find that disadvantaged caste groups such as Other Backward Castes spend nine percent more on visible consumption than Brahmin and High Caste groups while social groups such as Muslims spend eleven percent less, after controlling for differences in permanent income and demographic composition of households. These differences are significant and robust. Additionally, we find that these differences can be partly explained as a result of the status signaling nature of such consumption items.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5406.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2012, 83 (3), 353 - 371
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Other versions of this item:
- Khamis, Melanie & Prakash, Nishith & Siddique, Zahra, 2012. "Consumption and social identity: Evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 353-371.
- Melanie Khamis & Nishith Prakash & Zahra Siddique, 2012. "Consumption and Social Identity: Evidence From India," Working papers 2012-28, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
- O10 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
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