Materialism on the March: From conspicuous leisure to conspicuous consumption?
AbstractThis paper inserts Veblen's [Veblen, T., 1898, The Theory of the Leisure Class. The Viking Press, New York] concepts of conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption into a very simple model. Individuals have the choice to either invest their time into working, leading to easily observable levels of consumption, or into conspicuous leisure, whose effect on utility depends on how observable leisure is. We let the visibility of leisure depend positively on the amount of time an individual and her neighbors have lived in the same area. Individuals optimize across conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption. If population turnover is high, individuals are made worse off, since the visibility of conspicuous leisure then decreases and the status race must be played out primarily via conspicuous consumption. Analyzing interstate mobility in the US, we find strong support for our hypothesis: a 1percentage point rise in population turnover increases the average work week of non-migrants by 7Â min. We end with discussing the pros and cons of mobility taxes to offset the negative externality of population turnover on the visibility of conspicuous leisure.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).
Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175
Conspicuous consumption Conspicuous leisure Materialism Labor supply Mobility Status;
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
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