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Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods

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  • FREDRIK CARLSSON
  • OLOF JOHANSSON‐STENMAN
  • PETER MARTINSSON

Abstract

Although conventional economic theory proposes that only the absolute levels of income and consumption matter for people's utility, there is much evidence that relative concerns are often important. This paper uses a choice experiment to measure people's perceptions of the degree to which such concerns matter, i.e. the degree of positionality. Based on a random sample in Sweden, income and cars are found to be highly positional, on average, in contrast to leisure and car safety. Leisure may even be completely non‐positional. Potential policy implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson‐Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2007. "Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 586-598, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:74:y:2007:i:296:p:586-598
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.2006.00571.x
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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