A Test of Conspicuous Consumption: Visibility and Income Elasticities
This paper shows that, consistent with a signaling-by-consuming model à la Veblen, income elasticities can be predicted from the visibility of consumer expenditures. We outline a stylized conspicuous consumption model where income elasticity is endogenously predicted to be higher if a good is visible and lower if it is not. We then develop a survey-based measure of expenditure visibility, ranking different expenditures by how noticeable they are to others. Finally, we show that our visibility measure predicts up to one-third of the observed variation in elasticities across consumption categories in U.S. data. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/ |
|Order Information:||Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:4:p:1101-1117. 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: (Karie Kirkpatrick)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.