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Consumer Behaviour and Economic Growth in the Modern Economy by Henri Baudet, Henk van der Meulen

By Henri Baudet, Henk van der Meulen

These essays exhibit that industrialisation and quick fiscal progress have replaced not just the large fabric setting, yet have additionally had an important influence on uncomplicated foodstuff intake.

The introductory bankruptcy takes a theoretical view and attempts to set up the interrelationship among monetary forces and social behavior. the opposite individuals examine how the event of Europe, Japan and North the US healthy this basic rationalization they usually show how cultural and local alterations have formed the improvement of purchaser behaviour and styles of intake during the last centuries.

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39 The tearing down of autarkic structures and the further increase in the population dependent on the market was, in itself, already an important 37 element influencing adjustment in consumer spending. Increasing urbanization, to which we have already referred, was also contributory to this trend. What is more, it is common knowledge that, in the secondary and tertiary sectors, higher wages were being paid, producing an inflationary result. But a shift towards better remunerated sectors, where a sharp increase in wages occurred after 1896, does not ipso facto imply globally increased living standards.

25 52 23 1921 1910 35 35 30 ? 101 ? ? ? ? 87,1 ? 66,8 2865 2185 1815 1910 2890 3370 36 1939 51 1929 1917 1891 1932 Daily consumption per person of all foodstuffsSO 1928 ? 4 The first table lists the daily calorie intake of an adult male on the basis of a constant set of 12 essential foods. This procedure does not take into account the contribution of other foodstuffs. Up to 1923, this causes no serious problems, as few, if any, other food products were included in the diet besides these 12. The caloric content of the basic selection rose by 14% between 1891 and 1910, a considerable increase, which occurred in spite of the globally higher price level after 1896.

What strikes one first of all is that the proportional difference in wages is smaller in 1928 than forty years earlier. A comparison between 1891 and 1928 shows that spending on essentials tended to converge. Differences in expenditure on food between the extreme incomes brackets amounted to 75% in 1891 and only 35% in 1928. The gap between the "poorest" and "wealthiest" was therefore less pronounced. This narrowing difference obviously does not reveal just what the diet of the different social groups was.

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