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Toward an Economic Theory of Fashion

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  • Coelho, Philip R P
  • McClure, James E

Abstract

Competition for rank within animal societies is an innate drive recognized in sociobiological and evolutionary theory. In human societies, fashion signals social rank or status. The authors extend standard economic theories of competitive and noncompetitive markets to analyze fashion by including the status-seeking incentive. In the competitive case, the conditions under which fashion cycles occur are examined. In the noncompetitive case, producers of fashion services discriminate between customers intertemporally to sustain the fashionability of their services. Unlike the standard models of fashion that populate marketing textbooks, the authors' theory of fashion does not require that demand curves slope upward. Copyright 1993 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 31 (1993)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 595-608

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:31:y:1993:i:4:p:595-608

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. G.M. Peter Swann, 1999. "An Economic Analysis of Taste-A Review of Gary S. Becker: Accounting for Tastes," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 281-296.
  2. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1999. "Segmented communication and fashionable behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 371-385, July.
  3. Philip R. P. Coelho & James E. McClure, 1996. "Social context and the utility of wealth: Addressing the Markowitz challenge," Working Papers 199602, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Jan 1998.
  4. Wallace HUFFMAN & Richard E. JUST, 1995. "Transaction Costs, Fads, And Politically Motivated Misdirection In Agricultural Research," Staff Papers 277, Iowa State University Department of Economics.
  5. Krähmer, Daniel, 2005. "Advertising and Conspicuous Consumption," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 72, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  6. Federica Alberti, 2013. "A note on fashion cycles, novelty and conformity," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-019, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  7. Petal Jean Hackett, 2012. "Cutting too Close? Design Protection and Innovation in Fashion Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 3716, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Caulkins, J.P. & Hartl, R.F. & Kort, P.M. & Feichtinger, G., 2007. "Explaining fashion cycles: Imitators chasing innovators in product space," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-194289, Tilburg University.
  9. Kastanakis, Minas N. & Balabanis, George, 2012. "Between the mass and the class: Antecedents of the “bandwagon” luxury consumption behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 65(10), pages 1399-1407.
  10. Bernard Dubois & Sandor Czellar & Gilles Laurent, 2005. "Consumer Segments Based on Attitudes Toward Luxury: Empirical Evidence from Twenty Countries," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 115-128, April.
  11. DUBOIS, Bernard & LAURENT, Gilles & CZELLAR, Sandor, 2001. "Consumer rapport to luxury : Analyzing complex and ambivalent attitudes," Les Cahiers de Recherche 736, HEC Paris.
  12. Emanuela Randon, 2002. "L’analisi positiva dell’esternalità: rassegna della letteratura e nuovi spunti," Working Papers 58, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2002.
  13. Yang, Bijou & Lester, David, 1995. "New directions for economics," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 433-446.
  14. Giacomo Corneo & Olivier Jeanne, 1994. "Conspicuous Consumption and the Existence of Upward Sloping Demand Curves," Discussion Paper Serie A 461, University of Bonn, Germany.
  15. Caulkins, J.P. & Feichtinger, G. & Grass, D. & Hartl, R.F. & Kort, P.M. & Seidl, A., 2011. "Optimal pricing of a conspicuous product during a recession that freezes capital markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 163-174, January.
  16. Giacomo Corneo & Olivier Jeanne, 1994. "A Theory of Fashion Based on Segmented Communication," Discussion Paper Serie A 462, University of Bonn, Germany.

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