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Working Paper

The Effects of Household Size, Structure and Income on Expenditure Patterns (Final Report to ILO)

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커버이미지
  • 저자 김광석(金光錫) , 김대영(金大泳)
  • 발행일 1975/05/01
  • 시리즈 번호 7510
원문보기
요약 The main purpose of this research were to estimate the
"specific" and "income" unit consumer scales, and to obtain the
parameters of household consumption patterns on the basis of
family budget data available in Korea. For these purposes, the
iterative procedure originally developed by Prais and Houthakker
was extended to estimate both to incorporate the estimation of
economies of scale in household consumption.

Using the iterative procedure, it was initially attempted to
estimate unit consumer scales and other consumption parameters
on the basis of urban family budget data for 1971. The
empirical results based on urban family budget data for 1971
were not consistent with the general hypothesis regarding unit
consumer scales for different age-sex groups of household
members. A close examination of the data indicated that the
inconsistency could have resulted partly from the incomplete
coverage of come expenditure items in the household budget
survey data and partly from the higher relative prices of
processed food for children.

The data base was, therefore, changes from 1971 to 1973,
expecting some improvement in the data. However, since the
results based on 1973 data showed similar problems to those
encountered using 1971 data, some adjustments were made to
the data before estimation of unit consumer scales. The most
important adjustments are upward revisions of eating-out and
clothing expenditures of households. These adjustments are made
essentially on the basis of special survey results reported in
Appendix A. The adjusted data for 434 white-collar worker
households on three large cities are then used to experiment
with the iterative procedure. The empirical results based on the
unadjusted data for 1971. In addition, it was found that there
was no tendency to meaningful convergence in the irerative
procedure.

Some attempts were, therefore, made to estimate the unit
consumer scales by simulations since the general iterative
procedure turned out to be deficient in producing a meaningful
convergence. The results of our simulation attempts are
summarized in Appendix B. It was almost impossible to estimate
the detailed unit consumer scales by simulations because
unlimited computer time is required for such simulation works.

We then attempted to modify the iterative procedure. Since
the whole iterative procedure seems to involve a serious
identification problem, the "income" unit consumer scales are
first estimated using data classified by family size. The
estimated "income" unit consumer scales are then fed into a
modified procedure. The modified procedure is to estimate
"specific" unit consumer scales and other parameters, given the
income unit consumer scales and the aggregate size elasticity. A
numerical convergence is easily obtained in this first stage
procedure of iteration. We then attempted to proceed to the
second stage of iteration by changing the fixed values of income
unit consumer scales and aggregate size elasticity on the basis
of the results obtained at the terminal cycle of the first-stag
iteration. Although we repeated the two-stage procedures for
about 20 cycles, there was no sign of a meaningful convergence.

In conclusion, we may point out that however we adjust the
data and modify the estimation procedure, empirical results tend
to be all similar. WE may therefore infer that the estimated unit
comsumer scales and other consumption parameters presented in
this paper reflect some truth in Korea, although their complete
reliability is still questionable.

A common characteristic of the results is that the estimated
income unit consumer scales by age-sex group are all about
unity, while the specific unit consumer scales for each
commodity vary by age-sex group. Likewise, the aggregate size
elasticity of household consumption turns out to be about unity
although the size elasticities for specific commodity groups vary
widely by type if commodity. Aggregate and specific size
elasticities are quite sensitive to the relative magnitudes of both
income and specific unit consumer scales by age-sex group.
If these findings are reliable, then Korean household income
in per capita terms will correctly reflect the "true" living
standards which are measured in terms if income per unit
consumer and by taking into account economies of scale in
household consumption.

Another major finding of the research is that the iterative
procedure of estimate is deficient in generating a meaningful
convergence. Unless the values of income unit consumer scales
and aggregate size elasticity are given exogenously, the
procedure shows no tendency to convergence. This seems to
suggest that there is a serious identification problem. Although
we could avoid the identification problem may still exist in the
system as a whole. It is, however, beyond our capacity to prove
the existence of such problem. Unless some new methodology is
developed, it seems almost impossible to estimate really reliable
specific and income unit consumer scales.
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