U.S. aggregate demand for clothing and shoes, 1929-1994: Effects of changes in price, nondurables expenditures, and demographics

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Virginia Tech


The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of the changes in total nondurables expenditures, prices, and demographics on the U.S. aggregate demand for clothing categories and shoes. In particular, this study focused on identifying and parameterizing the effects of such changes. To this purpose, a demand system for two clothing categories, shoes, and other nondurable commodities for the U.S. was estimated using aggregate time-series data sets (1929-1994), and a second-stage budgeting model was developed and estimated. The basis for the demand model was the Almost Ideal Demand System model, which was modified to account for the demographic effects. Demographic variables included in the final model were age distribution of the U.S. population (median age and variance), proportion of non-White population in the total U.S. population, and labor force participation rate of U.S. women. The main data sources were documents published by the Bureau of the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The results indicate that the total nondurables expenditures is a significant variable in determining consumers' nondurables expenditure allocation on clothing categories and shoes. The estimated total expenditure elasticities suggest that the clothing categories and shoes are expenditure elastic, ranging from 1.1019 to 1.4944. Most own and cross prices appear to be significant variables in determining the consumer budget allocations for clothing categories and shoes. The median age and non-White population variables evidence as significant variables that affect the U.S. aggregate nondurables expenditure allocation on men’s and boys’ clothing and on shoes. Women’s labor force participation rate evidences as a significant variable that affects the U.S. aggregate nondurables expenditure allocation on women’s and children’s clothing. The estimated own-price elasticities of demand for clothing categories and shoes indicate that all the clothing categories and shoes are inelastic (i.e., -0.3908 to -0.9175). The estimated crossprice elasticities of clothing categories, shoes and other nondurable goods show substitution and complementary relationships between the categories. The demand elasticities with respect to the demographic variables were also estimated.



budget shares, demand, shoes, clothing, demographics