chapter  8
25 Pages

INEQUALITY IN PRIVATE CONSUMPTION

The discussion on the roots of inequalities turns now from public spending and its links with corruption opportunities to the private expenditure of individuals and families. The focus is on consumption patterns with regard to necessities and luxuries and the scale of poverty and inequality among social classes. From the results of available surveys, those people whose actual consumption is absolutely insufficient to meet their essentials are identified. The characteristics of ostentatious consumption by the rich are also identified, and the question of whether obesity and the diet-related diseases of affluence co-exist in the same society with deprivations and undernourishment is considered. What are the main differences in consumption items between different income classes? What are the principal factors behind these differences? What is the general trend in consumption composition with regard to shifts between traditional and foreignbranded products? What is the role of advertising in these shifts and the effects these changes have on poor consumers?