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Honestly, why are you driving a BMW?

  • Johansson-Stenman, Olof

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

This paper proposes that people derive utility not only from goods or their attributes as in standard models, but also from their self-image as influenced by their own perception of their preferences. In a representative survey, most respondents considered their own concern for status when purchasing a car to be minor in comparison with the status concerns of others. Similarly, most individuals considered themselves to be more environmentally concerned than other people. These results are consistent with an extension of the conventional theory where an individual’s selfimage is added as an argument in the utility function.

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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 141.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 09 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Johansson-Stenman, Olof and Peter Martinsson, 'Honestly, why are you driving a BMW?' in Economic Behavior and Organization, 2006, pages 129-146.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0141
Note: Published in Economic Behavior and Organization, 2006, Vol. 60, pp. 129-146.
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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