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Consumer Specialization and the Demand for Novelty: a Reconsideration of the Links and Implications for Studying Fashion Cycles in Tourism

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  • Chai Andreas

    () (Economics, AFE, Griffith Business School, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, Qld, 4222, Australia)

Abstract

How does the consumer’s predisposition to seek arousing new sensations affect their tendency to accumulate knowledge about consumption activities? Using recent insights about the dynamic interaction of learning mechanisms that are part of the individual’s genetic endowment, we argue that, contra Scitovsky (1976), the emergence of relatively convenient forms of entertainment may foster - rather than inhibit - the accumulation of consumer knowledge. Furthermore, because specialized consumers have a greater tendency to innovatively modify aspects of the consumption activity, we argue that this specialization process fundamentally affects the rate at which consumers become habituated to novelty. This represents an important way in which cognitive learning patterns interact with non-cognitive learning dynamics and it has consequences for understanding the direction and length of fashion cycles in recreational activities. In particular, we discuss how this perspective can be applied to studying tourism demand patterns and the ‘Destination Life Cycle’.

Suggested Citation

  • Chai Andreas, 2012. "Consumer Specialization and the Demand for Novelty: a Reconsideration of the Links and Implications for Studying Fashion Cycles in Tourism," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(6), pages 678-701, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:232:y:2012:i:6:p:678-701
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    References listed on IDEAS

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