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Positional Preferences and Efficiency in a Dynamic Economy

Author

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  • Thomas Aronsson

    () (Umea University, Sweden)

  • Sugata Ghosh

    () (Brunel University, London)

  • Ronald Wendner

    () (University of Graz, Austria)

Abstract

Based on an endogenous growth model, this paper characterizes the conditions under which positional preferences do not give rise to intertemporal distortions as well as derives an optimal tax policy response in cases where these conditions are not satisfied. In our model, individuals can be positional both in terms of their consumption and wealth, the relative concerns partly reject comparisons with people in other countries, and we distinguish between a (conventional) welfarist government and a paternalist government that does not respect positional preferences. We also extend the analysis to a multi-country framework and show that Nash-competition among local paternalist governments leads to a global social optimum, whereas Nash-competition among local welfarist governments does not.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Aronsson & Sugata Ghosh & Ronald Wendner, 2020. "Positional Preferences and Efficiency in a Dynamic Economy," Graz Economics Papers 2020-01, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:grz:wpaper:2020-01
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Positional preferences; efficiency; intertemporal distortions; welfarist government; paternalist government; endogenous growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E71 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on the Macro Economy
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

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