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Are there Social Limits to Growth?

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  • Kjell Arne Brekke
  • Richard B. Howarth
  • Karine Nyborg

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

Hirsch (1976) suggested that as consumption grows, an increasing proportion of the benefits people derive from consumption is due to a status effect. Status is a relative concept that cannot be increased on average; thus it may seem reasonable to expect that as consumption grows, the marginal benefits of consumption decrease more than the marginal benefits of status. In equilibrium, however, there will be price effects that may more than outweigh this effect. Thus, there is no a priori reason to expect more status-seeking behavior in richer societies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 239.

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Date of creation: Nov 1998
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:239

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Keywords: Status-seeking; relative consumption;

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Cited by:
  1. Kjell Arne Brekke & Richard B. Howarth, 1998. "The Social Contingency of Wants Implications for Growth and the Environment," Discussion Papers 227, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  2. João Bernardino & Tanya Araújo, 2010. "On Positional Consumption and Technological Innovation- an Agent-based Approach," Working Papers Department of Economics 2010/04, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  3. Knut R. Wangen & Erik Biørn, 2002. "Prevalence and substitution effects in tobacco consumption: A discrete choice analysis of panel data," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C4-3, International Conferences on Panel Data.

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