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Growth And Keeping Up With The Joneses

  • Wendner, Ronald

This paper investigates the impact of the desire to keep up with the Joneses (KUJ) on economic growth and optimal tax policy in a continuous time overlapping generations model with AK technology and gradual retirement. Due to the desire to KUJ, the propensity to consume out of total wealth rises (declines), and the balanced growth rate declines (increases) when the households' individual total (accumulated \emph{and} human) wealths are increasing (decreasing) with age. The rate of retirement determines whether or not a household's total wealth is increasing with age. If total wealth is increasing/decreasing with age, an optimal allocation is decentralized by a lump sum tax system that is progressive/regressive in age. The desire to KUJ strengthens the intergenerational regressivity (progressivity) of the optimal tax system.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Macroeconomic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): S2 (November)
Pages: 176-199

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Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:14:y:2010:i:s2:p:176-199_00
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  1. Dirk Willenbockel, 2008. "Social time preference revisited," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 609-622, July.
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  4. Fisher, Walter H. & Heijdra, Ben J., 2009. "Keeping up with the ageing Joneses," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 53-64, January.
  5. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2005. "How much do we care about absolute versus relative income and consumption?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 405-421, March.
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  8. Ronald Wendner, 2009. "Conspicuous Consumption and Overlapping Generations?," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2009_05, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  9. J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
  10. Stephen Turnovsky & Goncalo Monteiro, 2006. "Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities, and Efficient Capital Accumulation under Time Non-Separable Preferences," Working Papers UWEC-2006-26-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
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  14. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  15. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  16. Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2003. "Do You Enjoy Having More Than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Working Papers in Economics 100, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  17. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
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