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Chai, Andreas
Moneta, Alessio
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
Papers on economics and evolution 1113
Using data spanning over four decades (1960-2000), this paper employs Engel's needsbased approach to analyzing household expenditure patterns to find evidence for the existence of a stable hierarchy of expenditure patterns at low levels of household income. Second, we investigate how rising household income influences the manner in which total expenditure is distributed across Engel's expenditure categories. Our results suggest that i) total household expenditure is distributed across Engel's expenditure categories in an increasingly even manner as household income increases and ii) over time, there has been an acceleration in the rate at which household expenditure patterns become diversified as household income rises. Finally, we consider how the shape of Engel Curves may help shed light on the relationship between goods and the underlying needs they serve.
Hierarchy of needs
Engel Curves
Engel's Law
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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