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Conspicuous consumption dynamics

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  • Friedman, Daniel
  • Ostrov, Daniel N.

Abstract

We formalize Veblen's idea of conspicuous consumption as two alternative forms of interdependent preferences, dubbed envy and pride. Agents adjust consumption patterns gradually, in the direction of increasing utility. From an arbitrary initial state, the distribution of consumption among agents with identical preferences converges to a unique equilibrium distribution. When pride is stronger, the equilibrium distribution has a right-skewed density. When envy is stronger, the equilibrium is concentrated at a single point, and the adjustment dynamics involve a shock wave that can be interpreted as a growing, moving, homogeneous "middle class."

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Games and Economic Behavior.

Volume (Year): 64 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 121-145

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Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:64:y:2008:i:1:p:121-145

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622836

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Keywords: Veblen effects Gradient dynamics Shock waves;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hopkins, Ed, 2008. "Inequality, Happiness and Relative Concerns: What Actually is their Relationship?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-01, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  2. Lahkar, Ratul & Seymour, Robert M., 2013. "Reinforcement learning in population games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 10-38.
  3. Friedman, Daniel & Abraham, Ralph, 2009. "Bubbles and crashes: Gradient dynamics in financial markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 922-937, April.
  4. Friedman, Daniel & Singh, Nirvikar, 2007. "Equilibrium Vengeance," MPRA Paper 4321, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2007. "Status, Affluence, and Inequality: Rank-Based Comparisons in Games of Status," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001442, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2005. "Methods of Comparison in Games of Status," ESE Discussion Papers 138, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  7. Friedman, Daniel & Ostrov, Daniel N., 2010. "Gradient dynamics in population games: Some basic results," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 691-707, September.
  8. Chi, Feng & Yang, Nathan, 2010. "Wealth and Status: Analyzing the Perceived Attractiveness of 2010 FIFA World Cup Players," MPRA Paper 23881, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Friedman, Daniel & Abraham, Ralph, 2008. "Bubblesandcrashes:Gradientdynamicsinï¬nancial markets," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3905j8kq, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.

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