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A deeper look at asymmetries in UK consumers' expenditure: the nonparametric analysis of 100 disaggregates

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The literature on testing for the presence of cyclical asymmetry in UK consumers' expenditure is extended via the application of nonparametric tests to data subject to a higher degree of disaggregation than considered in previous studies. The results obtained at an intermediate level of disaggregation depict a positive relationship between the durability of goods and the degree of asymmetry they exhibit. At high levels of disaggregation to specific expenditure categories, it is found that the aggregate and intermediate evidence of deepness asymmetry is driven by a relatively small number of expenditures, with almost no evidence of deepness asymmetry in non-durable categories of expenditure. Prominent among the durable and semi-durable good expenditure categories exhibiting significant positive deepness asymmetry are expenditures relating to housing fittings and communication, consistent with a degree of ‘lumpiness' in expenditure which may be associated with the impact of credit rationing or threshold effects.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Economics, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, UK

Publication date: 2005-05-10

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