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Keeping Up with the Joneses as an Outcome of Getting Ahead of the Smiths. A Two-Stage Veblenian Status Game

Listed author(s):
  • Frédéric Gavrel

    ()

    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - Université de Caen Basse-Normandie - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

In a status game, homogenous individuals first decide on their income (and on the effort necessary to that end) with the aim at Getting ahead of the Smithes (GAS). Next, they make use of a pure positional good to make incomes visible. Although the GAS hypothesis is ordinal, the signalling costs induce cardinal social concerns. The GAS hypothesis, translated into the KUJ (Keeping Up with the Joneses) (pride) concern, generates an equilibrium in which identical agents have unequal income levels. This equilibrium is an egalitarian optimum. But utilitarian and Paretian inefficiency are the price paid for equality.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-01319593.

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Date of creation: 24 May 2016
Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-01319593
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01319593
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  1. Frédéric Gavrel & Thérèse Rebière, 2015. "On the Equilibrium and Welfare Consequences of Going Ahead of the Smiths," Working Papers halshs-01242504, HAL.
  2. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2014. "Instrumental cardinal concerns for social status in two-sided matching with non-transferable utility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 174-189.
  3. Ed Hopkins & Tatiana Kornienko, 2004. "Running to Keep in the Same Place: Consumer Choice as a Game of Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1085-1107, September.
  4. Friedman, Daniel & Ostrov, Daniel N., 2008. "Conspicuous consumption dynamics," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 121-145, September.
  5. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
  6. Ireland, N. J., 2001. "Optimal income tax in the presence of status effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 193-212, August.
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