Household Life-Cycle Stages, Transitions, and Product Expenditures
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey provide empirical verification of changes in household spending across a wide variety of products as households pass from one stage of the household life cycle to another. Three spending patterns emerged: (1) a generalized inverted U pattern, with spending rising sharply as households shift from young single to young married, then remaining relatively high, and falling sharply at the older married and/or older single stages, (2) generally increasing expenditures across stages until the last one or two stages, and (3) generally decreasing expenditures across the life cycle. Expenditures are especially influenced by the presence of young children in the household. Copyright 1995 by the University of Chicago.
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