BusinessInsider: “A new paper from University of Chicago economists attempts to infer demographics based on people’s consumer behavior or media consumption. The researchers found that “no individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone” based on 2016 data. In the United States, if you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, it’s a strong sign that you make a lot of money. That’s one of the takeaways from a new National Bureau of Economic Research working paper from University of Chicago economists Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica.
“Across all years in our data, no individual brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone in 2016,” the researchers wrote. There are details and caveats to the research, but the economists found that owning an iPhone gave them a 69% chance to correctly infer that the owner was “high-income,” which they defined as being in the top quartile of income for households of that type — like single adult or couple with dependents, for example…”Knowing whether someone owns an iPad in 2016 allows us to guess correctly whether the person is in the top or bottom income quartile 69 percent of the time,” they write. The research also suggests that owning an Android phone or using Verizon are a strong indicators of being high-income as well…”