2021, no. 1


Downloads: 57
Views: 125

Nicoleta ONOFREI, PhD student, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania, Doctorand, Academia de Studii Economice din București, аспирант, Бухарестский Университет Экономических Исследований
Adina Teodora PAŞA, PhD student, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania, Doctorand, Academia de Studii Economice din București, аспирант, Бухарестский Университет Экономических Исследований

The aim of this paper is to study consumption of households from an economic and cultural perspective in the European Union with 28 Member States during the period 2010-2019. For this purpose, we compared the Eastern European countries, dominated by rapid economic growth and development with the Western European countries, which represent the most developed countries in the EU-28. From this perspective, we proposed a multidimensional analysis of consumption that includes macroeconomic indicators of households’ wealth, which strongly influence their consumption together with an overview on expenditure by consumption purpose. Moreover, we have also considered Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory based initially on four cultural dimensions (power distance, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, and uncertainty avoidance) to observe the impact national culture plays on households’ consumption in Eastern and Western European countries tracking the historical changes of these countries. Our methodological approach consisted in descriptive and inferential statistics based on the selected economic and cultural indicators. Pearson’s product-moment correlations were calculated to assess the correlations between the variables. Our analysis shows that the level of wealth is lower in Eastern European countries compared to Western Europe, which influences significantly the private consumption in these countries. Moreover, the systematic differences of national culture between Eastern and Western Europe influence strongly the private consumption of their population. Results of this paper indicate that in Eastern European countries the highest share of expenditure is allocated to primary needs such as food, non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes to the detriment of health, education, recreation and culture.

households’ consumption, European Union, income, national culture, Hofstede’s theory

How to Cite:  
ONOFREI, Nicoleta, PASA, Adina Teodora. Private consumption in the european union: a comparative study. In: Economy and Sociology. 2021, no. 1, June, pp. 52-62. DOI: https://doi.org/10.36004/nier.es.2021.1-05

  1. Arnotte, J. P. (1999). Final Consumption of Households in the Accession Countries. Economy and Finance, 2(24), 1-8.
  2. Chai, A., Rohde, N., & Silber, J. (2015). Measuring the diversity of household spending patterns: measuring the diversity of household spending. Journal of Economic Surveys, 29(3), 423–440. https://doi.org/10.1111/joes.12066
  3. De Mooij, M. (2017). Comparing dimensions of national culture for secondary analysis of consumer behavior data of different countries. International Marketing Review, 34(3), 444–456. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-02-2016-0047
  4. Eurostat, D. E. (2019). Adjusted gross disposable income of households per capita (2010-2019). http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=tec00113&lang=en
  5. Firat, A., Kutucuoglu, K. Y., Saltik, I. A., & Tuncel, O. (2013). Consumption, Consumer Culture and Consumer Society. Journal of Community Positive Practices, 1, 182–203.
  6. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture and Organizations. International Studies of Management & Organization, 10(4), 15–41. https://doi.org/10.1080/00208825.1980.11656300
  7. Hwa-Froelich, D. A., & Vigil, D. C. (2004). Three Aspects of Cultural Influence on Communication: A Literature Review. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 25(3), 107–118. https://doi.org/10.1177/15257401040250030201
  8. Jawadi, F., Soparnot, R., & Sousa, R. M. (2017). Assessing financial and housing wealth effects through the lens of a nonlinear framework. Research in International Business and Finance, 39, 840–850. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ribaf.2014.11.004
  9. Kozera, A., Stanisławska, J., & Wysocki, F. (2013). A taxonomic 29 analysis of diversification in the consumption structure 30 in households in the EU countries. Quantitative Methods in Economics, XIV(1), 293–303.
  10. Lipton, D., Sachs, J., Fischer, S., & Kornai, J. (1990). Creating a Market Economy in Eastern Europe: The Case of Poland. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1990(1), 75. https://doi.org/10.2307/2534526
  11. Matsuyama, K. (2002). The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies. Journal of Political Economy, 110(5), 1035–1070. https://doi.org/10.1086/341873
  12. Matusitz, J., & Musambira, G. (2013). Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Technology: Analyzing Hofstede’s Dimensions and Human Development Indicators. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 31(1), 42–60. https://doi.org/10.1080/15228835.2012.738561
  13. Michail, N. A. (2020). Convergence of consumption patterns in the European Union. Empirical Economics, 58(3), 979–994. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00181-018-1578-5
  14. Nair, S. R., & Little, V. J. (2016). Context, Culture and Green Consumption: A New Framework. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 28(3), 169–184. https://doi.org/10.1080/08961530.2016.1165025
  15. Roach, B., Goodwin, N., & Nelson, J. (2019). Consumption and the Consumer Society. 42.
  16. Sadik-Zada, E. R., & Loewenstein, W. (2018). A Note on Revenue Distribution Patterns and Rent-Seeking Incentive. International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, 8(2), 196–204.
  17. Schor, J. (2002). Understanding the New Consumerism Inequality, Emulation and the Erosion of Well-Being—PDF Free Download. https://docplayer.net/33889308-Understanding-the-new-consumerism-inequality-emulation-and-the-erosion-of-well-being.html.
  18. Szwacka-Mokrzycka, J. (2017). Changes in food consumption in poland and other eu countries. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum. Oeconomia, 16(4), 169–178. https://doi.org/10.22630/ASPE.2017.16.4.56
  19. Thøgersen, J. (2017). Sustainable food consumption in the nexus between national context and private lifestyle: A multi-level study. Food Quality and Preference, 55, 16–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2016.08.006
  20. Trentmann, F. (2004). Beyond Consumerism: New Historical Perspectives on Consumption. Journal of Contemporary History, 39(3), 373–401. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022009404044446
  21. Yıldırım, E., Arslan, Y., & Barutçu, M. T. (2016). The role of uncertainty avoidance and indulgence as cultural dimensions on online shopping expenditure. Published Online January 2016, 4, 42–51. https://doi.org/dx.doi.org/10.17740/eas.econ.2016.V4‐04
  22. Zukin, S., & Maguire, J. S. (2004). Consumers and Consumption. Annual Review of Sociology, 30(1), 173–197. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.soc.30.012703.110553