Status and Poverty
AbstractWe present a model in which individuals' preferences are defined over their consumption, transfers to offspring, and social status associated with income. We show that a separating equilibrium exists where individuals' expenditure on conspicuous consumption is a signal for their unobserved income. In this equilibrium, poor families that climb up the social ladder by the accumulation of wealth engage in conspicuous consumption that prevents them from escaping poverty. Our model may explain why the poor make some choices that do not appear to help them escape poverty. (JEL: D91, O11, O12, O15) (c) 2010 by the European Economic Association.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.
Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice and Growth - - - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
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