Quantifying invariant features of within-group inequality in consumption across groups

Anindya S. Chakrabarti*, Arnab Chatterjee, Tushar Nandi, Asim Ghosh, Anirban Chakraborti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We study unit-level expenditure on consumption across multiple countries and multiple years, in order to extract invariant features of consumption distribution. We show that the bulk of it is lognormally distributed, followed by a power law tail at the limit. The distributions coincide with each other under normalization by mean expenditure and log scaling even though the data is sampled across multiple dimension including, e.g. time, social structure and locations. This phenomenon indicates that the dispersions in consumption expenditure across various social and economic groups are significantly similar subject to suitable scaling and normalization. Further, the results provide a measurement of the core distributional features. Other descriptive factors including those of sociological, demographic and political nature, add further layers of variation on the this core distribution. We present a stochastic multiplicative model to quantitatively characterize the invariance and the distributional features.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469–490
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Consumption distribution
  • Inequality
  • Invariance
  • Lognormal distribution
  • Power law


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantifying invariant features of within-group inequality in consumption across groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this