In measuring GDP (there are some varying methods but in theory the value should always be the same) one of the values taken into consideration is consumer spending. This consumer spending is measured per household. This got me to question exactly how we define household. Is one person living alone a household? What about people living in a room of someones home? Someone living in a basement? Do we consider the constant flux of people renting rooms for the summer months while another is abroad? This “household” spending adds up. For any of you data collectors I wonder if we can evaluate GDP as a function of the number of people living in a household. My assumption would be that although we would think spending goes up as the number of people in a household increases, there must be some point at which the spending becomes leveled and decreases. Perhaps there is an ideal household size that minimizes household consumption. Think about it. A person living alone must buy small milk carton because milk spoils quickly. A small milk carton is more expensive than a large one because of the production costs of the carton and design and ink. Buying in bulk saves and the larger the household the bigger the bulk no? An extremely large household simply requires more food and that means more money. After a certain point the milk cartons are not sold any bigger because they are not made any bigger. I wonder what the raw data can tell us. A bell curve?
As well, perhaps we can relate economic growth to debt. Does a person who goes into debt guarantee increased income later in life? What if we were to invest into a long term study to evaluate the effects debt has on the individual? The household? The economy at large? We could follow a group of 50 or more individuals who are currently getting into debt as they obtain higher degrees and track what happens over time. Is there a relation to the amount of debt (negative economic growth) someone is in and their future earnings? (economic growth) What is it that people are going into debt for? Opening up businesses? Getting an education? Is what a person going into debt for related to the future return?
Collecting this data and using it to come-up with a differential equation may be an important step towards redefining economic growth using calculus. We may also include sustainability through identifying an ideal household size and an ideal amount of debt that ensures minimal environmental impact and future return.