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The Quest for Status and Endogenous Labor Supply. The Relative Wealth Framework

  • Fisher, Walter H.

    (Department of Economics and Finance, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria)

  • Hof, Franz X.

    (Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics, Research Unit Economics, Vienna University of Technology)

This paper introduces the quest for status into the Ramsey model with endogenous labor supply. We focus our attention on relative wealth preferences. In contrast to relative consumption preferences, they allow for the possibility that agents work too little in the long run, while under both specifications the steady-state levels of consumption and the stock of physical capital exceed their socially optimal counterparts. The initial phase of transitional dynamics is unambiguously characterized by under-consumption and excessive work effort. The social optimum can be replicated by taxing capital income, where the optimal tax rate increases as physical capital accumulates.

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File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/eco/es-181.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
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Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Economics Series with number 181.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:181
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  1. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2001. " Status, the Distribution of Wealth, and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 283-93, June.
  2. Persson, Mats, 1995. " Why Are Taxes So High in Egalitarian Societies?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 569-80, December.
  3. Gene M. Grossman (ed.), 1996. "Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 553.
  4. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  5. Walter Fisher & Franz Hof, 2000. "Relative consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 241-262, October.
  6. Walter H. Fisher, 2004. "Status Preference, Wealth and Dynamics in the Open Economy," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(3), pages 335-355, 08.
  7. Gali, J., 1992. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices," Papers 92-22, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  8. Fisher, Walter H. & Hof, Franz X., 2000. "Relative Consumption and Endogenous Labour Supply in the Ramsey Model: Do Status-Conscious People Work Too Much?," Economics Series 85, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  9. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2001. "On relative-wealth effects and long-run growth," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 349-358, December.
  10. Van Long, Ngo & Shimomura, Koji, 2004. "Relative wealth, status-seeking, and catching-up," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 529-542, April.
  11. Fisher, Walter H. & Hof, Franz X., 2001. "Status Seeking in the Small Open Economy," Economics Series 106, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  12. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-16, March.
  13. Wen-Fang Liu & Stephen Turnovsky, 2003. "Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities, and the Accumulation of Capital," Working Papers UWEC-2002-13-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2003.
  14. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
  15. Michael J. Boskin & Eytan Sheshinski, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation When Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601.
  16. Futagami, Koichi & Shibata, Akihisa, 1998. "Keeping one step ahead of the Joneses: Status, the distribution of wealth, and long run growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 109-126, July.
  17. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  18. Harbaugh, Richmond, 1996. "Falling behind the Joneses: relative consumption and the growth-savings paradox," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 297-304, December.
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