Are the Joneses Making You Financially Vulnerable?
AbstractThis note studies a model in which heterogeneous income agents get a utility boost only when their consumption catches up with the Joneses'. The resulting utility function is non-concave. In this setup, participation in a fair consumption lottery has the potential to make some agents ex-ante better off but more financially vulnerable. More income-diverse people join the lottery pool when the 'kick' from catching up increases. Worsening income inequality may increase the number of financially vulnerable people. The analysis sheds light on some aspects of the ongoing sub-prime mortgage crisis.
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 Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12909.
Date of creation: 17 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
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
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
More information through EDIRC
consumption externalities; catching up with the Jonses; non-concave utility; lotteries; inequality;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2008-04-29 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-UPT-2008-04-29 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
- NEP-URE-2008-04-29 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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.:
- Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007.
"Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
- Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004.
"Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being,"
Working Paper Series
rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002, August.
- Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lisa Farrell & Roger Hartley, .
"Can Expected Utility Theory Explain Gambling?,"
Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics
00/8, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
- 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.
- 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.
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.