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Conspicuous consumption and generation replacement in a model of perpetual youth

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  • Wendner, Ronald

Abstract

This paper investigates household decisions in an overlapping generations model in which individual utility depends on a weighted average of consumption of one's peers. In contrast to representative agent economies, the consumption externality generally affects savings and growth rates. The effects critically depend on the rate at which labor productivity changes with age. For a high (low) rate, the externality lowers (raises) the steady state propensity to consume out of total wealth. The optimal allocation can be decentralized by a (reverse) unfunded social security system if the rate of labor productivity decline is high (low). In contrast to discrete time OLG models, the optimal steady state capital income tax is zero, in spite of the externality.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
Issue (Month): 11-12 (December)
Pages: 1093-1107

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:11-12:p:1093-1107

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Consumption externality Labor productivity Gradual retirement Overlapping generations Keeping up with the Joneses Optimal taxation Capital taxation;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2012. "When Samuelson met Veblen abroad: National and global public good provision when social comparisons matter," Working Papers in Economics 538, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Van Long, Ngo, 2011. "The relative income hypothesis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1489-1501, September.
  3. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, olof, 2013. "State-Variable Public Goods and Social Comparisons over Time," Working Papers in Economics 555, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  4. Yutaro Hatta, 2013. "Wealth Distribution Dynamics with Status Preference: asymmetric motivations for status," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-08, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  5. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Sterner, Thomas, 2011. "Discounting and Relative Consumption," Discussion Papers dp-11-38, Resources For the Future.
  6. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2013. "Publicly Provided Private Goods and Optimal Taxation when Consumers Have Positional Preferences," Working Papers in Economics 558, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Thomas Aronsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2013. "Veblen’s theory of the leisure class revisited: implications for optimal income taxation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 551-578, September.
  8. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2011. "State-Variable Public Goods When Relative Consumption Matters: A Dynamic Optimal Taxation Approach," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 828, Umeå University, Department of Economics.

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