EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Household Saving, Class Identitiy, and Conspicuous Consumption

Jon D. Wisman ()

No 2008-19, Working Papers from American University, Department of Economics

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.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mac
Date: 2008-10
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (12) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://w.american.edu/cas/economics/repec/amu/workingpapers/2008-19.pdf First version, 2008 (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:amu:wpaper:1908

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Papers from American University, Department of Economics
Series data maintained by Thomas Meal ().

 
Page updated 2014-12-19
Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:1908