Post-Recession consumerism in the U.S.: the influence of cheap and chic consumer products on perceptions of income inequality

  • Aaron Fry
  • Steven Faerm
Palabras clave: desigualdad de ingresos; diseño y negocios; mercado masivo del lujo; estrategia de negocios de la moda; estrategia de negocios de diseño


La disparidad tanto en los ingresos como en la ganancia neta en los EE.UU., ha ido en aumento desde la década de 1970. Durante este período, el nivel de los salarios bajos y medios de los estadounidenses han crecido a un ritmo más lento que el crecimiento del PBI del país en su conjunto, y a un ritmo mucho más lento que los ingresos del 1% de los asalariados; habiéndose profundizado esta brecha dramáticamente en los años posteriores a la recesión del 2008. En este trabajo se discuten los factores subjetivos y relativos
que determinan la percepción de bienestar financiero. A pesar de la creciente desigualdad en los ingresos, los consumidores estadounidenses, en todos los segmentos de ingresos, incrementan sus posesiones, mucho más que en épocas anteriores. En un entorno en el que la concentración del ingreso parecería seguir favoreciendo en el futuro al segmento de ingresos más altos, se discute el efecto psicológico del acceso al consumo de objetos de diseño y al mercado masivo de bienes de lujo. Examinamos cuatro dimensiones de la percepción de lujo y discutimos esto en el contexto de dos marcas de lujo diferentes. Proponemos que el aumento del poder de compra que el consumidor estadounidense posee en la actualidad es un factor que puede compensar o amortiguar los efectos sociales y políticos adversos del estancamiento de ingresos y el
estrés económico.


Aghion P. & Williamson J. (1999). Inequality, growth, and globalization: Theory, history and policy. Raffaele Mattioli Lectures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from,0,142

Arghavan, N. & Zaichkowsky, J. (2000). Do counterfeits devalue the ownership of luxury brands? Journal of Product and Brand Management, 9 (7), 485-497.

Atkinson, A., Piketty,T. & Saez, E. (2009). Top incomes in the long run of history. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper, (15408). Retrieved from

Beddoes, Z. M. (2012, October 13). For richer, for poorer. The Economist. Retrieved from

Berry, C. (1994). The idea of luxury. A conceptual and historical investigation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Boushey, H. & Hersh, A. S. (2012). The American middle class, income inequality, and the strength of our economy: New evidence in economics. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from

Cachon, G. & Swinney, R. (2011l). The value of fast fashion: Quick response, enhanced design and strategic consumer behavior. Management Science, (57) 4, 778-795.

Campbell, A. (1981). The sense of well-being in America: Recent patterns and trends. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Council of Economic Advisers. (1997). Economic report of the president. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Davila, S. (2012, November 30). The internet’s first (real) fashion label. New York Magazine. Retrieved from

Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95. Retrieved from

Elkington J. (1997). Cannibals with forks: The triple bottom line of 21st century business. Oxford: Capstone Publishing Limited.

Ellis, B. (2013, August 7). Find out if a company shares your values. CNN Money. Retrieved from

Forster, M. (2013). Increasing income inequity in OECD countries: Trends, drivers and lessons for policy. AIAS Annual Conference. Retrieved from

Fry, A., Faerm, S., & Arakji, R. (2013). Achieving the new graduate dream: Building sustainable business success at a small scale. Cuaderno, 48, 153-175.

Glaeser, E. (2005). Inequality. Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Faculty Research Working Paper Series. Retrieved from

Hagopian, K. & Ohanian, L. (2012, August 1). The mismeasure of inequality. Hoover Institution Policy Review, (174). Retrieved from

Howorth, C. (2013, December 3). Getting the goods: Online shop details where stuff ’s made. New York Post. Retrieved from

Kapferer, J.N. (2010, September 15). Luxury after the crisis: Pro logo or no logo? The European Business Review. Retrieved from

Kapner, S. & Passariello, C. (2014, March 3). High prices test wealthy’s will to pay. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Kuznets, S. (1955). Economic growth and income inequality. The American Economic Review, (65)1. Retrieved from

Lauritzen, E. (2011). Causes and origins of the collapse of the former Soviet Union (Unpublished thesis). Ohio State University: Ohio.

Lerman, R. (1999, May). U.S. Wage-inequity trends and recent immigration. AEA Papers and Proceedings (89)2. Retrieved from

Markovich, S. (2014, February 3). The income inequality debate. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved from

Masidlover, N. & Passariello, C. (2013, February 13). What is recession?: Americans regain a craving for luxury. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Mazur, J. (2000). Labor’s new internationalism. Foreign Affairs, 79(1), 79–93.

Milloy, C. (2011, September 13). Study dismisses poverty, but try telling that to the poor. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

New York City General Assembly (NYCGA). (2011). Declaration of the occupation of New York City. #Occupy Wall Street. Retrieved from

Obama, President Barrack. (2013, January 28). Opportunity for all: State of the union address. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

Oliver, R. L. (2010). Satisfaction: A behavioral perspective on the consumer. New York: M.E. Sharpe

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2011a). Divided we stand: Why inequality keeps rising. Retrieved from

OECD. (2011b). An overview of growing income inequalities in OECD countries: Main findings. Retrieved from

OECD. (2011c). Gini Scores. [Data File]. Retrieved from

OECD (2011d, December 5). OECD inequality report: How do different countries compare?

The Guardian. Retrieved from

OECD. (2013). OECD factbook 2013: Economic, environmental and social statistics. OECD iLibary. Retrieved from

Paton, E. (2013, November 5). Michael Kors beats rivals in luxury retail. Financial Times. Retrieved from

Porter, E. (2012, March 20). Inequality undermines democracy. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Paulos, J. A. (1988) Innumeracy. New York: Hill and Wang.

Rector, R. & Sheffield, R. (2011) Understanding poverty in the United States: Surprising facts about America’s poor. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from


Saez, E. (2013, February 1). Income inequality: Evidence and policy implications. [Youtube video] Retrieved from

Soller, K. (2013, September 29). Everlane: Breaking down the markup. New York Magazine. Retrieved from

Symonds, A. (2012, November). Everlane wants you to buy less. Interview. Retrieved from

Thompson, D. (2012, April 5). How America spends money: 100 years in the life of the family budget. The Atlantic. Retrieved from

Timberlake, C. (2012, March 16. Michael Kors brand takes on Coach in U.S. luxury market. Bloomberg News. Retrieved from

Trump, K.-S. (2012). Perceptions of Income Inequality and Preferences for Income Distributions: Do People Who Perceive Higher Inequality Reject or Accept It? Midwest Political Science Convention, Chicago.United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2006) 100 Years of U.S. Consumer Spending: Data for the nation, New York City, and Boston, (991), [Data file]. Retrieved from

United States Congressional Budget Office. (2011, October). Trends in the distribution of household income from 1979-2007 [Data file]. Retrieved from

Wiedmann, K.P., Hennigs, N., & Siebels, A. (2007). Measuring consumer’s luxury value perception: A cross-cultural framework. Academy of Marketing Science Review, 2007. Retrieved from

Cómo citar
Fry, A., & Faerm, S. (2019). Post-Recession consumerism in the U.S.: the influence of cheap and chic consumer products on perceptions of income inequality. Cuadernos Del Centro De Estudios De Diseño Y Comunicación, (53), 169 a 188.

Artículos más leídos del mismo autor/a