An analysis of differences in the marginal propensity to consume of farm, rural nonfarm, and urban families in the United States Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ht24wn060

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  • The study was conducted to obtain information concerning the factors affecting the differences in the marginal propensities to consume of farm and nonfarm families observed by Friedman and Lee and Phillips. As a first step a theoretical framework was developed which indicated the factors affecting the marginal propensity to consume. From this framework, two hypotheses were formulated for explaining observed differences in the marginal propensities to consume between farm and nonfarm families: (1) Farm and nonfarm consuming units with homogeneous socioeconomic characteristics have the same marginal propensity to consume, and (2) distribution of consuming units by socioeconomic characteristics in the farm sample is different from that of consuming units in the nonfarm sample. Next a model and statistical procedure for testing the hypotheses were developed. The dummy variables technique was used as a means of quantifying the socioeconomic variables and thus of measuring their effect on the marginal propensity to consume. Finally, the model was fitted to data obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U. S. Department of Agriculture--Survey of Consumer Expenditure, 1960-61--using least squares procedures. The empirical results indicated that there were no significant differences in the marginal propensities to consume between farm and nonfarm families with homogenous socioeconomic characteristics for the majority of the 17 tested groups, However, those groups in the Northcentral and Western regions were the exception. In these two regions, farm families had a lower marginal propensity to consume than did nonfarm families. This could be due to differences in the prices paid by farm and nonfarm families in these two regions. The empirical results also indicated that there were significant differences in the distribution of families by socioeconomic characteristics between the farm and nonfarm samples. Thus, the observed differences in the marginal propensities to consume between farm and nonfarm families could be due to the differences in the distributions of family types in the two samples.
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