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Changing your role models: Social learning and the Engel curve

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  • Cordes, Christian

Abstract

By relating Engel curves and social learning, we explain the existence of differently shaped Engel curves--an interesting phenomenon in the theory of demand. A formal approach to cultural learning within a population of consumers accounts for some cognitive foundations of these demand patterns. We find that a changing influence of an individual's role models due to her increasing income, which entails new reference groups providing social identity, leads to the diffusion of new consumption behaviors. Thereby, the resulting Engel curves' shape depends on the underlying learning dynamics. The approach contributes to an explanation of structural change and economic development.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 957-965

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:6:p:957-965

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Consumer behavior Engel curve Cultural evolution Social learning Demand theory;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin Volland, 2013. "On the intergenerational transmission of preferences," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 217-249, October.
  2. Leonhard Lades, 2013. "Explaining shapes of Engel curves: the impact of differential satiation dynamics on consumer behavior," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 1023-1045, November.
  3. Leonhard K. Lades, 2012. "The impact of differential satiation dynamics on changing consumer behavior, wellbeing, and innovative activity," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-16, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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