A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, highlighted by Business Insider, aims to infer demographics based on consumer behavior and media consumption. According to the research, the iPhone is the most common status symbol of wealth…

The paper comes from University of Chicago economists Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica:

We analyze temporal trends in cultural distance between groups in the US defined by income, education, gender, race, and political ideology.

We measure cultural distance between two groups as the ability to infer an individual’s group based on his or her (i) media consumption, (ii) consumer behavior, (iii) time use, or (iv) social attitudes.

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