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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1972. Home Economics Area.


Copyright 1972, the author. Used by permission.


The purpose of this study was to determine what effect, if any, the Federal Government curbing of inflation (Phase I of the wage-price freeze) has had on consumers’ customary spending patterns, in particular to determine if any relationship existed between a consumer’s score on a caution-risk index, his knowledge and attitude of the wage-price freeze, and his Christmas expenditure patterns.

In this study “cautious” consumers were compared with consumers who were not “cautious” with respect to the effects of the wage-price freeze.These consumers were Lincoln, Nebraska residents who were interviewed during November, 1971 and in January, 1972.

This study found that “cautious” respondents were affected by a national economic policy (Phase I of the wage-price freeze).The “cautious” persons who were knowledgeable about the details of this policy increased their 1971 Christmas expenditures, as did the “cautious” persons who had a favorable attitude toward this policy.It can be concluded that they were showing their favorable attitude by spending, rather than hoarding their savings.The “cautious” respondents completed their Christmas shopping more quickly in 1971 than in 1970.They expected to spend more in 1971 than in 1970 and they spent even more than they planned.

This study also found that “risky” persons were slower in 1971 than in 1970 to complete their Christmas shopping.They planned to spend less for Christmas in 1971, but ended up spending more than they spent in 1970.“Risky” persons who had a favorable attitude toward the wage-price freeze made a change in the time of completion of their Christmas shopping.Persons with an unfavorable attitude towards this policy, decreased their 1971 Christmas expenditures, compared to 1970.Those with a poor attitude are likely to hoard what money they have, waiting until better times before they spend.

The findings of this study imply that attitude toward a national economic policy, plus a feeling for cautiousness or riskiness significantly affects the time of Christmas shopping, as well as the amount of Christmas expenditures.

Advisor: Florence S. Walker