How much do we care about absolute versus relative income and consumption?
AbstractWe find, using survey-experimental methods, that most individuals are concerned with both relative income and relative consumption of particular goods. The degree of concern varies in the expected direction depending on the properties of the good. However, contrary to what has been suggested in the previous literature, we find that relative consumption is also important for vacation and insurance, which are typically seen as non-positional goods. Further, absolute consumption is also found to be important for cars and housing, which are widely regarded as highly positional. Implications for Pareto-efficient taxation are illustrated using the results from the experiment.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Volume (Year): 56 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
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Other versions of this item:
- Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2001. "How Much Do We Care About Absolute Versus Relative Income and Consumption?," Working Papers in Economics 63, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
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