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Tackling Keynes’ question: a look back on 15 years of Learning To Consume

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  • Andreas Chai

    () (Griffith University)

Abstract

Abstract Two centuries of continuous economic growth since the industrial revolution have fundamentally transformed consumer lifestyles. Here Keynes raised an important question: will consumption always continue to expand in the same manner as it has in the previous two centuries? If so, how? This paper critically reviews a body of work that has adopted the Learning To Consume (LTC) approach to study the long run growth of consumption (Witt 2001). By borrowing certain established insights from psychology and biology about how consumers learn and what motivates them to consume, it highlights how rising income, new technologies and market competition have combined to trigger important changes in both the underlying set of needs possessed by consumers and how they learn to satisfy these needs. Methodological issues and open questions are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Chai, 2017. "Tackling Keynes’ question: a look back on 15 years of Learning To Consume," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 251-271, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:27:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00191-016-0455-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s00191-016-0455-7
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    Cited by:

    1. Rengs, Bernhard & Scholz-Waeckerle, Manuel, 2017. "Consumption & Class in Evolutionary Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 80021, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Andreas Chai, 2017. "Rethinking the economic possibilities of our grandchildren: what is the future of consumption?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 215-219, April.

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