Emulation, Inequality, and Work Hours: Was Thorsten Veblen Right?
AbstractWe investigate the manner in which a desire to emulate the rich influences individuals' allocation of time between labour and leisure, greater inequality inducing longer work hours as a result. Data on work hours in ten countries over the period 1963-98 show that greater inequality is indeed associated longer work hours. These 'Veblen effects' are large and the estimates are robust using country fixed effects and other specifications. Because consumption inequality is a public bad, a social welfare optimum cannot be implemented by a flat tax on consumption but may be accomplished by more complicated (progressive) consumption taxes. Copyright 2005 Royal Economic Society.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.
Volume (Year): 115 (2005)
Issue (Month): 507 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Office of the Secretary-General, School of Economics and Finance, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AL, UK
Phone: +44 1334 462479
Web page: http://www.res.org.uk/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Samuel Bowles & Yongjin Park, 2003. "Emulation, Inequality, and Work Hours: Was Thorsten Veblen Right," Department of Economics University of Siena 409, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
- Samuel Bowles & Yongjin Park, 2004. "Emulation, Inequality, and Work Hours: Was Thorsten Veblen Right?," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-14, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Richard B. Freeman, 2002.
"The Labour Market in the New Information Economy,"
Oxford Review of Economic Policy,
Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 288-305.
- David Neumark & Andrew Postlewaite, 1995.
"Relative Income Concerns and the Rise in Married Women's Employment,"
NBER Working Papers
5044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Neumark, David & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1998. "Relative income concerns and the rise in married women's employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 157-183, October.
- Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 55-71, October.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996.
"Satisfaction and comparison income,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
- Oswald, Andrew J., 1983. "Altruism, jealousy and the theory of optimal non-linear taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-87, February.
- Eric Alden Smith & Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2000. "Costly Signaling and Cooperation," Working Papers 00-12-071, Santa Fe Institute.
- Linda Bell, 1998. "Differences in Work Hours and Hours Preferences by Race in the U.S," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 481-500.
- Boskin, Michael J & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601, November.
- Bell, Linda A. & Freeman, Richard B., 2001.
"The incentive for working hard: explaining hours worked differences in the US and Germany,"
Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 181-202, May.
- Linda A. Bell & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "The Incentive for Working Hard: Explaining Hours Worked Differences in the U.S. and Germany," NBER Working Papers 8051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Harold L. Cole & George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, .
""Incorporating Concern for Relative Wealth into Economic Models'',"
CARESS Working Papres
95-14, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- Harold L. Cole & George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 1995. "Incorporating concern for relative wealth into economic models," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 12-21.
- Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-48, June.
- Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
- BÃ¶heim, RenÃ© & Taylor, Mark P., 2001.
"Actual and preferred working hours,"
ISER Working Paper Series
2001-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
- Ireland, Norman J., 1994. "On limiting the market for status signals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 91-110, January.
- Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-73, June.
- Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Poor, Relatively Speaking," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 153-69, July.
- Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.