Quality, Quantity, Spending and Prices
AbstractOne measure of the change in the “quality” of consumption is the degree to which the consumption basket as a whole moves towards more luxurious goods, away from necessities. We introduce two related measures based on the luxury/necessity distinction. One is an index of the extent to which the prices of luxuries change as compared to necessities, while the second indexes the change in spending. These two measures are interpreted as the price of and spending on quality. The “volume” of quality is then spending deflated by its price. Using the recent International Comparison Program data for 100+ countries, we find that on average quality increases with income, but at a slower rate; luxuries are relatively more expensive in richer countries, necessities cheaper; and approximately 80 percent of additional spending on quality flows into a volume component, with the remaining 20 percent accounted for by prices.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion / Working Papers with number 11-12.
Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - General Welfare
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