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Sexual Selection, Conspicuous Consumption and Economic Growth

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Author Info

  • Jason Collins

    (Business School, University of Western Australia)

  • Boris Baer

    (Centre for Integrative Bee Research (CIBER) ARC CoE in Plant Energy Biology, University of Western Australia)

  • Ernst Juerg Weber

    (Business School, University of Western Australia)

Abstract

The evolution by sexual selection of the male propensity to engage in conspicuous consumption contributed to the emergence of modern rates of economic growth. We develop a model in which males engage in conspicuous consumption to send an honest signal of their quality to females. Males who engage in conspicuous consumption have higher reproductive success than those who do not, as females respond to the costly and honest signal, increasing the prevalence of signalling males in the population over time. As males fund conspicuous consumption through participation in the labour force, the increase in the prevalence of signalling males who engage in conspicuous consumption gives rise to an increase in economic activity that leads to economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion / Working Papers with number 12-15.

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Length: 71 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwa:wpaper:12-15

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  1. Oded Galor & Stelios Michalopoulos, 2011. "Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000116, David K. Levine.
  2. Gregory Clark, 2007. "Introduction to A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
    [A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  3. Michael T. Hannan & L·szlÛ PÛlos & Glenn R. Carroll, 2004. "The evolution of inertia," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 213-242, February.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Sex & growth
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2012-10-10 13:14:39

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