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The effects of changes in household demographics and employment on consumer demand patterns

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This study examines to what extent changes in consumer demand patterns over the last two decades in the Netherlands can be attributed to changes in household demographics, employment and total expenditures. The dominating changes in consumer demand are decreasing budget shares of food & beverages and clothing & footwear and increasing budget shares of housing and services. The changes in households' composition - away from the traditional one-earner family with children - together with the increase in household total expenditures account for about one-third of the decrease in the budget share of food & beverages, half of the increase in the budget shares of services and only a minor part of the increase in housing. Once controlled for budget effects, the quadrupling of the proportion of employed women with young children accounts for about one-third of the increase in the budget shares of personal & health care - including childcare - and food away, holidays & entertainment.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University, 3511 BG Utrecht, The Netherlands 2: University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies, 1018 TV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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