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The Distribution of Household Spending in Australia

Author

Listed:
  • Amy Beech

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Rosetta Dollman

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Richard Finlay

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Gianni La Cava

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Abstract

This article uses household-level data to examine the distribution of spending and saving in Australia and how that has changed over time. The distribution of spending and saving is important as, among other things, it can affect the way that the household sector responds to economic shocks. The data indicate that households headed by older people have increased their share of total spending over the past two decades, reflecting both an ageing population and an increase in the average spending of older households compared with other households. The household survey data also indicate that spending is more equally distributed than income across households due to their ability to borrow and save. Moreover, consumption inequality has been little changed, despite an increase in income inequality over recent decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy Beech & Rosetta Dollman & Richard Finlay & Gianni La Cava, 2014. "The Distribution of Household Spending in Australia," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 13-22, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:rba:rbabul:mar2014-02
    as

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    File URL: https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2014/mar/pdf/bu-0314-2.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    3. Garry F. Barrett & Stephen G. Donald & Debopam Bhattacharya, 2014. "Consistent Nonparametric Tests for Lorenz Dominance," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
    4. Nicola Fuchs-Schuendeln & Dirk Krueger & Mathias Sommer, 2010. "Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 103-132, January.
    5. Daniel T. Slesnick, 1998. "Empirical Approaches to the Measurement of Welfare," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 2108-2165, December.
    6. Ellis Connolly, 2007. "The Effect of the Australian Superannuation Guarantee on Household Saving Behaviour," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2007-08, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    7. Richard Blundell & Ben Etheridge, 2010. "Consumption, Income and Earnings Inequality in Britain," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 13(1), pages 76-102, January.
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    12. Jarkko Jääskelä & Callan Windsor, 2011. "Insights from the Household Expenditure Survey," RBA Bulletin, Reserve Bank of Australia, pages 1-12, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Giancarlo La Cava, 2015. "The development of databases linking micro and macro data - an Australian perspective," IFC Bulletins chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Assessing household financial positions in Asia, volume 40 Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Consumption; Income; Inequality;

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