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Consumption Inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Orazio P. Attanasio
  • Luigi Pistaferri

Abstract

In this essay, we discuss the importance of consumption inequality in the debate concerning the measurement of disparities in economic well-being. We summarize the advantages and disadvantages of using consumption as opposed to income for measuring trends in economic well-being. We critically evaluate the available evidence on these trends, and in particular discuss how the literature has evolved in its assessment of whether consumption inequality has grown as much as or less than income inequality. We provide some novel evidence on three relatively unexplored themes: inequality in different spending components, inequality in leisure time, and intergenerational consumption mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Orazio P. Attanasio & Luigi Pistaferri, 2016. "Consumption Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 3-28, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:30:y:2016:i:2:p:3-28
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.30.2.3
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. On the Distribution of Wealth
      by Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz in Money, Banking and Financial Markets on 2018-04-16 11:56:16

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:38-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Haan, Peter & Kemptner, Daniel & Lüthen, Holger, 2017. "The Rising Longevity Gap by Lifetime Earnings: Distributional Implications for the Pension System," IZA Discussion Papers 11121, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis & Yu Zheng, 2017. "Why Is Food Consumption Inequality Underestimated? A Story of Vices and Children," Working Papers 969, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Akerman, Anders, 2018. "The Relative Skill Demand of Superstar Firms and Aggregate Implications," Research Papers in Economics 2018:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    5. Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Markus Zimmermann, 2018. "Housing Expenditures and Income Inequality," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1816, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    6. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:208-228 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:gam:jscscx:v:6:y:2017:i:4:p:147-:d:121568 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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