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Who sees what? Demographics and the visibility of consumer expenditures

  • Heffetz, Ori
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    A growing body of work on social phenomena (like status, peer effects, social comparisons and fashion) rests on assumptions regarding the social observability of consumption activities. The present paper provides new empirical evidence for assessing such assumptions. We analyze data from a unique visibility survey, designed to quantify the relative “cultural” visibility of different consumer expenditures among US households. We investigate the relationship between respondents’ demographics and the expenditures they perceive as visible. We discuss implications for existing and future work.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167487012000384
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 801-818

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:4:p:801-818
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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    8. Chao, Angela & Schor, Juliet B., 1998. "Empirical tests of status consumption: Evidence from women's cosmetics," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 107-131, February.
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    11. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    12. Ori Heffetz, 2011. "A Test of Conspicuous Consumption: Visibility and Income Elasticities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1101-1117, November.
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    15. Gad Saad, 2006. "Applying evolutionary psychology in understanding the Darwinian roots of consumption phenomena," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2-3), pages 189-201.
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