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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

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Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

The Consumption Aspirations of Adolescents: Determinants and Implications

Publication Abstract

Freedman, Deborah S., and Arland Thornton. "The Consumption Aspirations of Adolescents: Determinants and Implications." Youth and Society, 21, no.3 (March 1990): 259-81.

This paper examines the determinants of consumption and consumption aspirations among young adults, emphasizing the influence of the parental family. The data show that adolescent ownership and consumption aspirations bear little relationship to parental income, contrary to the well-known Easterlin hypothesis, which posits parental economic status as the major determinant of their adolescents' consumption aspirations. A large proportion of the sample had their own car, television, and stereo; such ownership was positively and significantly related to consumption aspirations. Data from a similarly-aged sample (Monitoring the Future) shows that adolescents today earn considerable sums while still in high school and spend most of it on personal consumption. The consumption they enjoy from their earnings is, in turn, a likely determinant of their consumption aspirations.

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