Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Choosing to Keep Up with the Joneses and Income Inequality

Contents:

Author Info

  • Barnett, Richard C.
  • Bhattacharya, Joydeep
  • Bunzel, Helle

Abstract

We study a variant of the conventional keeping-up-with-the-Joneses setup in which heterogeneous-ability agents care both about consumption and leisure and receive an utility premium if their consumption exceeds that of the Joneses'. Unlike the conventional setup in which all agents are assumed to want to participate in the rat race of staying ahead of the Joneses, our formulation explicitly permits the option to drop out. Mean-preserving changes in the spread of the underlying ability distribution, via its effect on the economy-wide composition of rat-race participants and drop-outs, have important consequences for induced distributions of leisure and income, consequences that are unobtainable using conventional keeping-up preferences.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.econ.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/publications/papers/p1744-2008-01-10.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12862.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 10 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economic Theory 2010, vol. 45 no. 3, pp. 469-496
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12862

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Email:
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: keeping up with the Joneses; consumption externalities; leisure; labor supply;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Drakopoulos, Stavros A., 2005. "The paradox of Happiness: towards an alternative explanation," MPRA Paper 6870, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Koichi Kawamoto, 2009. "Status-seeking behavior, the evolution of income inequality, and growth," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 269-289, May.
  4. Van Long, Ngo & Shimomura, Koji, 2004. "Relative wealth, status-seeking, and catching-up," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 529-542, April.
  5. Freeman, Scott, 1996. "Equilibrium Income Inequality among Identical Agents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1047-64, October.
  6. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Staff Report 321, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  8. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Stephen Turnovsky, 2006. "Growth and income inequality: a canonical model," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 25-49, 05.
  9. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  10. Roger Hartley & Lisa Farrell, 1998. "Can Expected Utility Theory Explain Gambling?," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 98/02, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  11. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 1350, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  13. Cecilia García-Peñalosa & Stephen Turnovsky, 2008. "Consumption externalities: a representative consumer model when agents are heterogeneous," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 439-467, December.
  14. Abhijit Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1989. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Discussion Papers 877, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  15. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1998. "Comparison-concave utility and following behaviour in social and economic settings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-155, October.
  16. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy & Ivan Werning, 2005. "The Equilibrium Distribution of Income and the Market for Status," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 282-310, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Chang, Ming-Jen & Chang, Juin-Jen & Shieh, Jhy-Yuan, 2014. "Keeping up with the Joneses and exchange rate volatility in a Redux model," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 569-584.
  2. Gershman, Boris, 2010. "The two sides of envy," MPRA Paper 25422, University Library of Munich, Germany.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12862. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephanie Bridges) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Stephanie Bridges to update the entry or send us the correct address.

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.