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Is Concern for Relative Consumption a Function of Relative Consumption?

  • Andersson, Fredrik W.

    ()

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

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    By using hypothetical choice experiments, this paper presents evidence that individuals' concern for relative consumption depends on their relative consumption. Individuals with consumption levels above society's average consumption level tend to have, in general, lower concern for relative consumption. This supports Duesenberry's (1949) notion that people are more concerned with upward social comparison than with downward social comparison.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2691
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    Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 220.

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    Length: 16 pages
    Date of creation: 30 Jun 2006
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Socio Economics, 2008, pages 353-364.
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0220
    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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    1. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2005. "How much do we care about absolute versus relative income and consumption?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 405-421, March.
    2. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2007. "Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 586-598, November.
    3. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
    6. Armin Falk & Markus Knell, 2004. "Choosing the Joneses: Endogenous Goals and Reference Standards," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 417-435, October.
    7. Markus Knell, . "Social Comparisons, Inequality, and Growth," IEW - Working Papers 005, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    8. Carlsson, Fredrik & Nam, Pham Khanh & Linde-Rahr, Martin & Martinsson, Peter, 2005. "Are Vietnamese Farmers Concerned with their Relative Position in Society?," Working Papers in Economics 165, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
    10. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
    11. Sara J. Solnick & David Hemenway, 2005. "Are Positional Concerns Stronger in Some Domains than in Others?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 147-151, May.
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