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Fashion and wealth accumulation

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  • Shouyong Shi

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, CANADA)

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of fashion on wealth accumulation in an economy with two groups of agents. Fashion is modelled as an externality generated by a particular dependence of individual agents' time preference on the two groups' per-capita consumption habits. It is shown that fashion causes excessive wealth fluctuations in the sense that stronger and more persistent fashion is more likely to generate limit cycles in wealth. Opposite to intuitive arguments , however, the externality in fashion does not necessarily generate instability in wealth. In a special case, equilibrium consumption and wealth are stable but the optimal ones that internalize the externality are locally unstable. Whether equilibrium consumption is excessive relative to optimal consumption depends on the distribution as well as the aggregate level of wealth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 14 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 439-461

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:14:y:1999:i:2:p:439-461

Note: Received: December 15, 1995; revised version: July 21, 1998
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Related research

Keywords: Fashion; Habits; Limit cycles; Wealth accumulation.;

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Cited by:
  1. Eugenia Vella & Evangelos V. Dioikitopoulos & Sarantis Kalyvitis, 2012. "Green Spending Reforms, Growth and Welfare with Endogenous Subjective Discounting," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_045, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  2. Meng, Qinglai, 2006. "Impatience and equilibrium indeterminacy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2671-2692, December.
  3. Chen, Been-Lon & Hsu, Mei, 2009. "Consumption externality, efficiency and optimal taxation in one-sector growth model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1328-1334, November.
  4. Huang, Kevin X.D. & Meng, Qinglai, 2007. "The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect under capital market imperfections," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1001-1015, October.
  5. Bian, Yong & Meng, Qinglai, 2004. "Preferences, endogenous discount rate, and indeterminacy in a small open economy model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 315-322, September.

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