Expenditure patterns within an occupational group: Teachers and non-teachers
Salim, Juma K
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Numerous studies of expenditure patterns have been conducted over aggregated occupational categories. However, there are few studies that specifically compare and contrast expenditure patterns among industry groups within an occupational field. This research examined the hypothesis that teachers' expenditure patterns were lower than administrators/managers and professionals who are grouped together in the manager/professional occupational field by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It was also hypothesized that there were statistically significant differences in expenditure patterns within each industry group while controlling for some socio-demographic factors and consumer life cycle variables. The sample size of 3,976 was drawn from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) interview tapes for the years 1995 through 2001. It consisted of 611 teachers, 1,353 administrators/managers, and 2,012 professionals. Multivariate Tobit analysis was used to examine statistical relationships related to expenditures for each of the groups of interest. Fourteen consumption categories (food at home, food away from home, alcoholic beverages, housing, apparel and services, transportation, health care, entertainment, personal care, reading materials, education, miscellaneous expenditures, cash contributions, and personal insurance and pensions) were treated as dependent variables and regressed against total expenditure (as a proxy for income), life cycle variables, region of residence, race/ethnicity, occupation, gender, and education of the reference persons. The descriptive analysis of the expenditure patterns illustrated that differences existed among administrators/managers, teachers, and professionals with respect to their distributions of expenditures. Findings indicated not only how industry group membership influences spending over the life cycle, but also ways in which consumer units make substitutions in consumption to meet their needs. The average total expenditures by teachers were lower by 15.3% and 16.5% than those of professionals and administrators/managers respectively. The total expenditure (as a proxy for income) was a driving force in determining the level of expense for all expenditure categories investigated. Occupation was shown to have significant effects for most items also. Various life cycle stages and other socio-demographic factors such as region of residence, race of the reference person, educational attainment, occupational group, and sex of the reference person were all found to be significant determinants of the pattern of expenditures within each occupational group. Statistically significant differences in spending patterns among teacher, professional, and administrator/manager consumer units were found for nine out of fourteen expenditure categories after controlling for socio-demographic factors. The findings have important implications for various agencies of the government at the federal, state and local levels, and for the business sector as well. They can facilitate development of a useful public policy and programs by government or community agencies that may help in reducing the recruitment and retention problems facing the education sector in the U.S. Businesses can use the results of this study as a guide for market segmentation in the potential areas.