IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/soceco/v37y2008i5p1937-1945.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Materialism on the March: From conspicuous leisure to conspicuous consumption?

Author

Listed:
  • Frijters, Paul
  • Leigh, Andrew

Abstract

This paper inserts Veblen's [Veblen, T., 1898, The Theory of the Leisure Class. The Viking Press, New York] concepts of conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption into a very simple model. Individuals have the choice to either invest their time into working, leading to easily observable levels of consumption, or into conspicuous leisure, whose effect on utility depends on how observable leisure is. We let the visibility of leisure depend positively on the amount of time an individual and her neighbors have lived in the same area. Individuals optimize across conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption. If population turnover is high, individuals are made worse off, since the visibility of conspicuous leisure then decreases and the status race must be played out primarily via conspicuous consumption. Analyzing interstate mobility in the US, we find strong support for our hypothesis: a 1percentage point rise in population turnover increases the average work week of non-migrants by 7Â min. We end with discussing the pros and cons of mobility taxes to offset the negative externality of population turnover on the visibility of conspicuous leisure.

Suggested Citation

  • Frijters, Paul & Leigh, Andrew, 2008. "Materialism on the March: From conspicuous leisure to conspicuous consumption?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1937-1945, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:1937-1945
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5H-4T13CJT-1/2/a044e874f90b4f6ac9633ca2bf1674c2
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    2. Edward Glaeser & Janet Kohlhase, 2003. "Cities, regions and the decline of transport costs," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 83(1), pages 197-228, October.
    3. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-116, March.
    4. Ireland, Norman J., 1998. "Status-seeking, income taxation and efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 99-113, October.
    5. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, 2004. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 696-719, June.
    6. van de Stadt, Huib & Kapteyn, Arie & van de Geer, Sara, 1985. "The Relativity of Utility: Evidence from Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 179-187, May.
    7. KNIGHT, John & SONG, Lina & GUNATILAKA, Ramani, 2009. "Subjective well-being and its determinants in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 635-649, December.
    8. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
    9. Larry Samuelson, 2004. "Information-Based Relative Consumption Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 93-118, January.
    10. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    11. Andrew B. Abel, 2005. "Optimal Taxation when Consumers Have Endogenous Benchmark Levels of Consumption," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 21-42.
    12. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-750, December.
    13. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
    14. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
    15. Van Praag, Bernard M.S., 1977. "The perception of welfare inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 189-207.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Collewet M.M.F. & Grip A. de & Koning J. de, 2015. "Conspicuous work : peer working time, labour supply, and happiness for male workers," Research Memorandum 012, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    2. Clark, Andrew E. & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2014. "Attitudes to Income Inequality: Experimental and Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Goerke, Laszlo, 2013. "Relative consumption and tax evasion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 52-65.
    4. Thomas Aronsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2013. "Conspicuous Leisure: Optimal Income Taxation When Both Relative Consumption and Relative Leisure Matter," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 155-175, January.
    5. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Papers 1507.08863, arXiv.org.
    6. Collewet M.M.F. & Grip A. de & Koning J.d., 2015. "Peer working time, labour supply, and happiness for male workers," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    7. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2014. "Attitudes to Income Inequality: Experimental and Survey Evidence," PSE Working Papers halshs-00967938, HAL.
    8. Andreas Chai & Wolfhard Kaus, 2013. "Signalling to whom? Conspicuous spending and the local density of the social group income distribution," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2012-18, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    9. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
    10. Ian Davidoff & Andrew Leigh, 2013. "How Do Stamp Duties Affect the Housing Market?," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(286), pages 396-410, September.
    11. Mujcic, Redzo & Frijters, Paul, 2015. "Conspicuous consumption, conspicuous health, and optimal taxation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 59-70.
    12. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2016. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do Online Social Networks Raise Social Comparisons?," ET: Economic Theory 234936, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    13. repec:eee:soceco:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:79-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:bla:tvecsg:v:108:y:2017:i:2:p:190-204 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Victoria Ateca-Amestoy, 2011. "Leisure and Subjective Well-being," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Leisure, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Yamada, Katsunori, 2008. "Macroeconomic implications of conspicuous consumption: A Sombartian dynamic model," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 322-337, July.
    17. Bogaerts, Tess & Pandelaere, Mario, 2013. "Less is more: Why some domains are more positional than others," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 225-236.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conspicuous consumption Conspicuous leisure Materialism Labor supply Mobility Status;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:1937-1945. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.