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Sexual selection, conspicuous consumption and economic growth

  • Jason Collins

    ()

  • Boris Baer
  • Ernst Weber

We propose that the evolution by sexual selection of the male propensity to engage in conspicuous consumption contributed to the emergence of modern rates of economic growth. We develop a model in which males engage in conspicuous consumption to send an honest signal of their quality to females. Females prefer males who express the costly and honest signal, leading males who engage in conspicuous consumption to have higher reproductive success than those who do not, increasing the prevalence of signalling males in the population. As males fund their conspicuous consumption through participation in the labour force, an increase in the prevalence of signalling males gives rise to an increase in economic activity that leads to economic growth. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10818-015-9200-9
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Bioeconomics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2015)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 189-206

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jbioec:v:17:y:2015:i:2:p:189-206
DOI: 10.1007/s10818-015-9200-9
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/environmental/journal/10818/PS2

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