Comparing Consumption: A Curse or a Blessing?
AbstractDoes it make us unhappier when we compare our current consumption with that of the Joneses or our own past achievements? This paper tries an answer without recurring on interpersonal utility comparisons. It calibrates an economy under three different assumptions, non-comparing utility, and inward-looking and outward-looking habit formation. Using consumption equivalents it then calculates how much individual welfare is affected in each economy by unexpected losses and gains of wealth.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) with number dp-382.
Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
habit formation; happiness; welfare; economic growth;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
- O40 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-01-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-DGE-2008-01-19 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-HAP-2008-01-19 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-MAC-2008-01-19 (Macroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
- Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Goncalo Monteiro & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2004.
"Habit Formation, Catching Up with the Joneses, and Economic Growth,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 47-80, 03.
- Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Goncalo Monteiro & Stephen Turnovsky, 2004. "Habit Formation, Catching Up with the Joneses, and Economic Growth," Working Papers UWEC-2004-09-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2004.
- Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1995.
"Saving and growth with habit formation,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
95-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 2000. "Mathematica code for 'Saving and Growth with Habit Formation' and 'Comparison Utility in a Growth Model'," QM&RBC Codes 43, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2003.
"Reported Subjective Well-Being: A Challenge for Economic Theory and Economic Policy,"
CREMA Working Paper Series
2003-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Reported Subjective Well-Being: A Challenge for Economic Theory and Economic Policy," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 124(2), pages 191-231.
- A. Abel, 2010.
"Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
1395, David K. Levine.
- Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
- Andrew B. Abel, . "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation and Catching Up With the Jones," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Andrew B. Abel, . "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation and Catching Up With the Jones," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 01-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Andrew B. Abel, 1991. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Abel, A.B., 1990. "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation And Catching Up With The Joneses," Weiss Center Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School - Weiss Center for International Financial Research.
- Constantinides, George M, 1990.
"Habit Formation: A Resolution of the Equity Premium Puzzle,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 519-43, June.
- G. Constantinides, 1990. "Habit formation: a resolution of the equity premium puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1397, David K. Levine.
- Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2005.
"How much do we care about absolute versus relative income and consumption?,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 405-421, March.
- Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2001. "How Much Do We Care About Absolute Versus Relative Income and Consumption?," Working Papers in Economics 63, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
- Christopher D Carroll & Jody Overland & David N Weil, 1997.
"Comparison Utility in a Growth Model,"
Economics Working Paper Archive
387, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
- Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caball?Author-Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & Xavier Raurich, .
"Growth, Habit Formation, and Catching-up\ with the Joneses,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
497.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballe, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2005. "Growth, habit formation, and catching-up with the Joneses," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1665-1691, August.
- Oswald, A.J., 1997.
"Happiness and Economic Performance,"
18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, .
"What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?,"
IEW - Working Papers
080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
- Brunner, Martin & Strulik, Holger, 2002.
"Solution of perfect foresight saddlepoint problems: a simple method and applications,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 737-753, May.
- Martin Brunner & Holger Strulik, 2002. "Code for "Solution of Perfect Foresight Sattlepoint Problems: A Simple Method and Applications"," QM&RBC Codes 93, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Heidrich, Christian).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.