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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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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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References

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  1. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 55-71, October.
  2. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
  3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 1350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Heng-fu Zou, 1991. "The spirit of capitalism and long-run growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 630, The World Bank.
  6. 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.
  7. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2005:i:17:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Futagami, Koichi & Shibata, Akihisa, 1998. "Keeping one step ahead of the Joneses: Status, the distribution of wealth, and long run growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 109-126, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Katsunori Yamada & Atsushi Sannabe & Takashi Saito, 2005. "Satisfaction and Comparison Income in Japan: evidence from data of Japanese union workers," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(17), pages 1-20.
  11. 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.
  12. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  13. Rao, Vijayendra, 2001. "Poverty and public celebrations in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2528, The World Bank.
  14. Basu, Kaushik, 1989. "A Theory of Association: Social Status, Prices and Markets," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 653-71, October.
  15. Konrad, Kai A., 1992. "Wealth seeking reconsidered," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 215-227, July.
  16. Gali, J., 1992. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices," Papers 92-22, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  17. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
  18. 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.
  19. Slottje, Daniel J., 1992. "Is there conspicuous consumption in Japan?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 333-342, December.
  20. Gurdip S. Bakshi & Zhiwu Chen, 1996. "The Spirit of Capitalism and Stock-Market Prices," CEMA Working Papers 511, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  21. 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.
  22. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  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. 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.
  25. Hayes, Kathy J & Molina, David J & Slottje, Daniel J, 1988. "Measuring Preference Variation across North America," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(220), pages 525-39, November.
  26. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Adrian de la Garza & Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Atsushi Sannabe & Katsunori Yamada, 2010. "The Relative Utility Hypothesis With and Without Self-reported Reference Wages," ISER Discussion Paper 0798, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Jul 2012.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2006:i:5:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Shiro Kuwahara, 2006. "Luxury-based Growth," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(5), pages 1-13.
  6. 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.

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