From Status-Seeking Consumption to Social Norms. An Application to the Consumption of Cleanliness
AbstractInterdependencies in consumer behavior stem from either status-seeking consumption or compliance with social norms. This paper analyzes how a consumption act changes from a means to signal the consumerâ€™s status to a means of norm compliance. It is shown that such a transformation can only be understood when consumer motivations other than social recognition are taken into account. We depict norm emergence as a learning process based on changing associations between a specific consumption act and widely shared, non-subjectivist consumer needs. Our conjectures are illustrated by means of a case study: the emergence of the cleanliness norm in the 19th century.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2008-10.
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
social norms; status seeking; externalities; consumer needs; consumer learning; cleanliness Length 32 pages;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
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