Household Saving, Class Identity, and Conspicuous Consumption

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Household Saving, Class Identity, and Conspicuous Consumption

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dc.contributor.author Wisman, Jon D.
dc.date.accessioned 2009-02-26T21:40:11Z
dc.date.available 2009-02-26T21:40:11Z
dc.date.created 2008-11
dc.date.issued 2008-11
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1961/5044
dc.description working paper No. 2008-19. 38 pages. en
dc.description.abstract The saving rate for U.S. households has long been low relative to those in other wealthy countries and in recent decades this rate has plummeted. Most studies of household saving behavior are based on the life-cycle theory of saving. However, there is doubt as to whether these studies adequately explain the low and declining rate in the U.S. This study explores two hypotheses that depart from the life-cycle explanatory framework. The first hypothesis examines the possibility that the low rate of household saving in the U.S. is related to Americans’ strong belief that vertical mobility in the U.S. is readily possible and hence their relatively weak sense of class identity. A second corollary hypothesis is that in an economy in which a high degree of vertical mobility is thought possible, a high degree of inequality in the distribution of income and wealth may reinforce the tendency to save little. en
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Economics, American University en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Department of Economics, American University en
dc.rights Copyright © 2008 by Jon D. Wisman. All rights reserved. Readers may make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice appears on all such copies. en
dc.title Household Saving, Class Identity, and Conspicuous Consumption en
dc.type Working Paper en


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