I am reposting my Comments to a prior posting below:
I think people’s patterns of consumerism and consumption around the States or around the world are fascinating during these crazy times. What are the things that the people themselves feel are essential? Spending on food has gone up in part because of all the food shopping and in part because food prices are getting higher. But what is essential for one group – like being able to go to a bar or get a haircut – is not necessarily essential for another group of people. In fact, I am not sure if our modern day definitions of consumer behavior even have the capability of parsing our behavior into more specific subgroups.
These subgroups could be defined via age or could be defined via level of risk they are willing to take on or by their need to protect and continue their livelihoods. So far as I understand things, economic models talk about consumer behavior as one thing or one entity. But within that definition of consumerism and consumption are huge variations surrounding consumer beliefs about what is essential to their households or not.
I am wondering if our economic models will have to evolve to cover subsectors of consumers and consumerism. Or maybe I am just uneducated? Just a question for today’s times?