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Concept: Consumption


Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) meant to improve health and raise revenue are being adopted, yet evaluation is scarce. This study examines the association of the first penny per ounce SSB excise tax in the United States, in Berkeley, California, with beverage prices, sales, store revenue/consumer spending, and usual beverage intake.

Concepts: United States, U.S. state, Macroeconomics, United States dollar, Indirect tax, Taxation in the United States, Consumption, Consumer spending


Characterizing high-cost users of health care resources is essential for the development of appropriate interventions to improve the management of these patients. We sought to determine the concentration of health care spending, characterize demographic characteristics and clinical diagnoses of high-cost users and examine the consistency of their health care consumption over time.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Medicine, Clinical trial, Medical ethics, Illness, Barack Obama, Consumption


In contrast to decades of research reporting surprisingly weak relationships between consumption and happiness, recent findings suggest that money can indeed increase happiness if it is spent the “right way” (e.g., on experiences or on other people). Drawing on the concept of psychological fit, we extend this research by arguing that individual differences play a central role in determining the “right” type of spending to increase well-being. In a field study using more than 76,000 bank-transaction records, we found that individuals spend more on products that match their personality, and that people whose purchases better match their personality report higher levels of life satisfaction. This effect of psychological fit on happiness was stronger than the effect of individuals' total income or the effect of their total spending. A follow-up study showed a causal effect: Personality-matched spending increased positive affect. In summary, when spending matches the buyer’s personality, it appears that money can indeed buy happiness.

Concepts: Psychology, Person, Personality psychology, Report, Emotion, Individual, Individual rights, Consumption


The Sustainable Development Goals target to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), including financial risk protection (FRP) among other dimensions. There are four indicators of FRP, namely incidence of catastrophic health expenditure (CHE), mean positive catastrophic overshoot, incidence of impoverishment and increase in the depth of poverty occur for high out-of-pocket (OOP) healthcare spending. OOP spending is the major payment strategy for healthcare in most low-and-middle-income countries, such as Bangladesh. Large and unpredictable health payments can expose households to substantial financial risk and, at their most extreme, can result in poverty. The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of OOP spending on CHE and poverty, i.e. status of FRP for UHC in Bangladesh. A nationally representative Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2010 was used to determine household consumption expenditure and health-related spending in the last 30 days. Mean CHE headcount and its concentration indices (CI) were calculated. The propensity of facing CHE for households was predicted by demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. The poverty headcount was estimated using ‘total household consumption expenditure’ and such expenditure without OOP payments for health in comparison with the poverty-line measured by cost of basic need. In absolute values, a pro-rich distribution of OOP payment for healthcare was found in urban and rural Bangladesh. At the 10%-threshold level, in total 14.2% of households faced CHE with 1.9% overshoot. 16.5% of the poorest and 9.2% of the richest households faced CHE. An overall pro-poor distribution was found for CHE (CI = -0.064) in both urban and rural households, while the former had higher CHE incidences. The poverty headcount increased by 3.5% (5.1 million individuals) due to OOP payments. Reliance on OOP payments for healthcare in Bangladesh should be reduced for poverty alleviation in urban and rural Bangladesh in order to secure FRP for UHC.

Concepts: Health insurance, Poverty, Estimation, Household income in the United States, Finance, Consumption function, Consumption, Household final consumption expenditure


This paper investigates how financial health associates with self-rated health, for a sample of working Canadians. Financial health is defined as an indicator of the proportionality of household consumption to its income.

Concepts: Health, Sample size, Household income in the United States, Consumer theory, Consumption function, Consumption


This article aims to design an increasing block pricing model to estimate the waste fee with the consideration of the goals and principles of municipal household solid waste pricing. The increasing block pricing model is based on the main consideration of the per capita disposable income of urban residents, household consumption expenditure, production rate of waste disposal industry, and inflation rate. The empirical analysis is based on survey data of 5000 households in Beijing, China. The results indicate that the current uniform price of waste disposal is set too high for low-income people, and waste fees to the household disposable income or total household spending ratio are too low for the medium- and high-income families. An increasing block pricing model can prevent this kind of situation, and not only solve the problem of lack of funds, but also enhance the residents' awareness of environmental protection. A comparative study based on the grey system model is made by having a preliminary forecast for the waste emissions reduction effect of the pay-as-you-throw programme in the next 5 years of Beijing, China. The results show that the effect of the pay-as-you-throw programme is not only to promote the energy conservation and emissions reduction, but also giving a further improvement of the environmental quality.

Concepts: Family, Waste management, Household income in the United States, Macroeconomics, Waste, Consumption function, Consumption, Household final consumption expenditure


In Australia, the immediate post-school period (known as ‘Schoolies’) is associated with heavy drinking and high levels of alcohol-related harm. This study investigated students' intended alcohol consumption during Schoolies to inform interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm among this group. An online survey was administered to students in their senior year of schooling. Included items related to intended daily alcohol consumption during Schoolies, amount of money intended to be spent on alcohol over the Schoolies period, and past drinking behaviour. On average, participants (n=187) anticipated that they would consume eight standard drinks per day, which is substantially higher than the recommended maximum of no more than four drinks on a single occasion. Participants intended to spend an average of A$131 on alcohol over the Schoolies period. Although higher than national guidelines, intended alcohol consumption was considerably lower than has been previously documented during Schoolies events. The substantial amounts of money expected to be spent during Schoolies suggest this group has adequate spending power to constitute an attractive target market for those offering alternative activities that are associated with lower levels of alcohol-related harm.

Concepts: Alcohol, Alcoholism, High school, Target market, Alcoholic beverage, Drinking culture, Kefir, Consumption


Out-of-pocket spending at out-patient departments (OPD) by households is relatively less analyzed compared to hospitalization expenses in India. This paper provides new evidence on the levels and drivers of expenditure on out-patient care, as well as choice of providers, using household survey data from 8 districts in 3 states of India. Results indicate that the economically vulnerable spend more on OPD as a proportion of per capita consumption expenditure, out-patient care remains overwhelmingly private and switches of providers-while not very prevalent-is mostly towards private providers. A key result is that choice of public providers tend to lower OPD spending significantly. It indicates that an improvement in the overall quality and accessibility of government facilities still remain an important tool that should be considered in the context of financial protection.

Concepts: Economics, Household, Finance, Macroeconomics, District, National accounts, Consumption, Household final consumption expenditure


Chinese consumers' spending has been expanding rapidly in the past decade, and along with it household and credit card debt. The present research collected evidence to triangulate the contention that materialism is positively related with Chinese’s problem spending tendency (PST), and that present-time-perspective (PTP) and future-time perspectives (FTP) interact systematically with materialism to affect PST. A survey of the general population in Macao, China (Study 1; N = 239) confirmed that materialism was positively correlated with PST. An interaction between materialism and PTP intensified the relationship, whereas an interaction with FTP weakened the relationship. Another survey with a sample of university students (Study 2; N = 223) again found positive relationships among PST, materialism, and PTP, as measured by temporal discount rate. But further exploration showed that PST was only related with temporal discounting among high materialists, but not among low materialists. Study 3 experimentally examined the causal effects of materialism and FTP on PST. When being primed of an orientation towards materialism (n = 33), the participants' planned consumption doubled that of the control group (n = 31). A FTP prime interacted with materialism prime and put a “damper” on participants' planned spending (n = 29), compared to their counterparts who were not primed of such a time perspective.

Concepts: Present, Time, Relationship, Consumer debt, Economics terminology, Debt, Materialism, Consumption


Private health care expenditure ranges from 15% to 30% of total healthcare spending in OECD countries. The literature suggests that there should be an inverse correlation between quality of public services and private expenditures. The main objective of this study is to explore the association between quality of public healthcare and private expenditures in the Italian Regional Healthcare Systems (RHSs). The institutional framework offered by the Italian NHS allows to investigate on the differences among the regions while controlling for institutional factors. The study uses micro-data from the ISTAT Household Consumption Survey (HCS) and a rich set of regional quality indicators. The results indicate that there is a positive and significant correlation between quality and private spending per capita across regions. The study also points out the strong association between the distribution of private consumption and income. In order to account for the influence of income, the study segmented data in three socio-economic classes and computed cross-regional correlations of RHSs quality and household healthcare expenditure per capita, within each class. No correlation was found between the two variables. These findings are quite surprising and call into question the theory that better quality of public services crowds out private spending, or, at the very least, it undermines the simplistic notions that higher levels of private spending are a direct consequence of poor quality in the public sector. This suggests that policies should avoid to simplistically link private spending with judgements or assessments about the functioning or efficacy of the public system and its organizations.

Concepts: Consumption function, Consumption