Fooling the eye of the beholder: deceptive status signalling among the poor in developing countries
Poor consumers in the developing world use a variety of status signalling devices that rely on deception of the observer. A frequently used deceptive strategy is the consumption of counterfeit instead of original status-intensive goods, mainly cheap copies of expensive brand-name goods from developed countries. The choice for such deceptive modes of conspicuous consumption is analysed within a product characteristics approach as developed by Lancaster and compared with non-deceptive alternatives. Under the controversial assumption that the poor care about status, it is shown that counterfeit goods embody a more 'appropriate' combination of status and functionality than original goods. It appears that the consumption of counterfeits potentially enhances the welfare of low-income consumers, depending on the extent to which the eye of the relevant beholder is effectively deceived. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 15 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-84477 is not listed on IDEAS
- Higgins, Richard S & Rubin, Paul H, 1986. "Counterfeit Goods," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 211-30, October.
- Cooper, B. & Garcia-Penalosa, C., 1998.
"Status Effects and Neganive Utility Growth,"
150, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- James, M.J., 2000. "Do consumers in developing countries gain or lose from globalization?," Other publications TiSEM e7f8ff07-cc97-4431-a52c-e, School of Economics and Management.
- Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-73, June.
- Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1988.
"Foreign Counterfeiting of Status Goods,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 79-100, February.
- J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
- Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
- Wells, John, 1977. "The Diffusion of Durables in Brazil and Its Implications for Recent Controversies Concerning Brazilian Development," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 259-79, September.
- James, Jeffrey, 1987. "Positional goods, conspicuous consumption and the international demonstration effect reconsidered," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 449-462, April.
- Congleton, Roger D., 1989. "Efficient status seeking: Externalities, and the evolution of status games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 175-190, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:15:y:2003:i:2:p:157-177. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.