Here is an interesting article at the Washington Post (similar story in the local paper), regarding the effect of inequality on household savings by the middle class. The basic idea is one that we've discussed in class - personal well being may be influenced by the well being of those around you. If your "neighbors" are getting richer and buying more stuff, you may feel poorer and spend more to "catch up". What are some of the macro and micro implications? I can tell you from personal experience that this phenomenon works in reverse too. When we lived abroad, we lived very simply, barely spending any money at all. There's a lesson here: As your income increases over time, try to maintain at least some of the spending habits that you develop when you have lower income.
Note chart 4 in the article... this looks like a simplified way of reporting the results of a regression model.