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Fashion and wealth accumulation

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  • Shouyong Shi

    () (Department of Economics, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, CANADA)

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of fashion on wealth accumulation in an economy with two groups of agents. Fashion is modelled as an externality generated by a particular dependence of individual agents' time preference on the two groups' per-capita consumption habits. It is shown that fashion causes excessive wealth fluctuations in the sense that stronger and more persistent fashion is more likely to generate limit cycles in wealth. Opposite to intuitive arguments , however, the externality in fashion does not necessarily generate instability in wealth. In a special case, equilibrium consumption and wealth are stable but the optimal ones that internalize the externality are locally unstable. Whether equilibrium consumption is excessive relative to optimal consumption depends on the distribution as well as the aggregate level of wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Shouyong Shi, 1999. "Fashion and wealth accumulation," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 14(2), pages 439-461.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:14:y:1999:i:2:p:439-461
    Note: Received: December 15, 1995; revised version: July 21, 1998
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bian, Yong & Meng, Qinglai, 2004. "Preferences, endogenous discount rate, and indeterminacy in a small open economy model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(3), pages 315-322, September.
    2. Huang, Kevin X.D. & Meng, Qinglai, 2007. "The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler effect under capital market imperfections," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1001-1015, October.
    3. Vella, Eugenia & Dioikitopoulos, Evangelos V. & Kalyvitis, Sarantis, 2015. "Green Spending Reforms, Growth, And Welfare With Endogenous Subjective Discounting," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(06), pages 1240-1260, September.
    4. Wei-Bin Zhang, 2016. "Fashion with Snobs and Bandwagoners in a Three-Type Households and Three-Sector Neoclassical Growth Model Representación del consumo: Modelo de Crecimiento Neoclásico con Tres Factores," Remef - The Mexican Journal of Economics and Finance, Instituto Mexicano de Ejecutivos de Finanzas. Remef, June.
    5. Huang, Kevin X.D. & Meng, Qinglai & Xue, Jianpo, 2017. "Balanced-budget income taxes and aggregate stability in a small open economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 90-101.
    6. Riham BARBAR & Jean-Paul BARINCI, "undated". "Consumption Externalities, Endogenous Discounting, Heterogeneity and Cycles," EcoMod2009 21500008, EcoMod.
    7. Meng, Qinglai, 2006. "Impatience and equilibrium indeterminacy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2671-2692, December.
    8. repec:eee:mateco:v:73:y:2017:i:c:p:34-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Chen, Been-Lon & Hsu, Mei, 2009. "Consumption externality, efficiency and optimal taxation in one-sector growth model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1328-1334, November.
    10. Gonzalez-Hernandez, Ramon A. & Karayalcin, Cem, 2013. "Habit formation, adjustment costs, and international transmission of fiscal policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 341-359.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fashion; Habits; Limit cycles; Wealth accumulation.;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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