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Macroeconomic implications of conspicuous consumption: A Sombartian dynamic model

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  • Yamada, Katsunori

Abstract

This paper presents a dynamic general equilibrium model in which consumers have status preference. I investigate the manner in which capital accumulation is impeded by conspicuous consumption i la Corneo and Jeanne [Corneo, G., Jeanne, O., 1997a. Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism. Journal of Public Economics 66, 55-71]. Following the literature, social norms are given as either bandwagon type or snob type. I show that when the economy is characterized by a bandwagon type social norm, capital accumulation exhibits interesting patterns. Those patterns include, for example, an oscillating convergence path: the rise of the economy feeds its decay through conspicuous consumption and that decay suppresses conspicuous consumption and engenders prosperity, as predicted by Sombart [Sombart, W., 1912. Liebe, Luxus und Kapitalismus, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Germany (reprinted 1967)].

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 322-337

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:322-337

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References

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  1. Gali, J., 1992. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices," Papers 92-22, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  2. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
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  6. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 55-71, October.
  7. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1056-69, July.
  8. Andrew B. Abel, . "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation and Catching Up With the Jones," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  9. Paul Frijters & Andrew Leigh, 2005. "Materialism on the March: From Conspicuous Leisure to Conspicuous Consumption?," CEPR Discussion Papers 495, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  10. Hirschman, Albert O, 1984. "Against Parsimony: Three Easy Ways of Complicating Some Categories of Economic Discourse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 89-96, May.
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  12. 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.
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  18. Rao, Vijayendra, 2001. "Poverty and public celebrations in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2528, The World Bank.
  19. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2005:i:17:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  21. Hollander, Heinz, 2001. "On the validity of utility statements: standard theory versus Duesenberry's," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 227-249, July.
  22. Slottje, Daniel J., 1992. "Is there conspicuous consumption in Japan?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 333-342, December.
  23. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Snobs, bandwagons, and the origin of social customs in consumer behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 333-347, March.
  24. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  25. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  26. Hayakawa, Hiroaki, 2000. "Bounded rationality, social and cultural norms, and interdependence via reference groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-34, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Shiro Kuwahara, 2006. "Luxury-based Growth," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(5), pages 1-13.
  2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2006:i:5:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Katsunori Yamada & Masayuki Sato & Yasuhiro Nakamoto, 2009. "Measurement of Social Preference from Utility-Based Choice Experiments," ISER Discussion Paper 0759, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  4. Yao, Rui & Sharpe, Deanna L. & Wang, Feifei, 2011. "Decomposing the age effect on risk tolerance," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 879-887.
  5. Adrian de la Garza & Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Atsushi Sannabe & Katsunori Yamada, 2010. "The Relative Utility Hypothesis With and Without Self-reported Reference Wages," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 159, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  6. Adrian de la Garza & Atsushi Sannabe & Katsunori Yamada, 2008. "Job Satisfaction and Happiness: New Evidence from Japanese Union Workers," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-10, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).

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