Stepanova, Ekaterina (2006). Essays on the effects of demographics on household consumption. Master's thesis / Doctoral dissertation.
My dissertation analyses the relationship between households' consumption behavior and changes in family demographic characteristics. The first paper studies consumption over the period of the working life of the household while the second and third papers examine consumption over shorter intervals, as the household approaches retirement and as children arrive, respectively. In the first paper, I test whether the number of children can explain the inverted U-shaped consumption pattern that has been found in many data sets, a finding that appears inconsistent with the life cycle hypothesis of consumption. The second paper examines the hypothesis that the observed decrease in consumption at retirement may result from changes in relative bargaining power between husband and wife. The third paper estimates the responsiveness of household patterns of consumption to changes in the relative prices of some goods just before and after the first child is born.