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The quest for status and R&D-based growth

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  • Hof, Franz X.
  • Prettner, Klaus

Abstract

We analyze the effect of status preferences on R&D-based economic growth. For this purpose, we extend the standard relative wealth approach by allowing the various assets held by households to differ with respect to their status relevance. Relative wealth preferences imply that the effective rate of return on saving in the form of a particular asset is the sum of its market rate of return and its status-related extra return. We show that the status relevance of shares issued by entrants to finance new technologies is of crucial importance for long-run growth: First, an increase in the intensity of the quest for status raises the steady-state economic growth rate only if the status-related extra return of these shares is strictly positive. Second, for any given degree of status consciousness, the long-run economic growth rate depends positively on the relative status relevance of shares issued by entrants. Finally, we show how the inefficiency of the decentralized balanced growth path is affected by allowing the various assets to differ with respect to their status relevance.

Suggested Citation

  • Hof, Franz X. & Prettner, Klaus, 2019. "The quest for status and R&D-based growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 290-307.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:162:y:2019:i:c:p:290-307
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.01.012
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Status concerns; Relative wealth; Technological progress; Long-run economic growth; Social optimality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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