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Relative Consumption and Endogenous Labour Supply in the Ramsey Model: Do Status-Conscious People Work Too Much?

Author

Listed:
  • Fisher, Walter H.

    (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)

  • Hof, Franz X.

    (Institute of Economics, University of Technology Vienna)

Abstract

This paper introduces consumption externalities into a Ramsey-type model with endogenous labour supply and homogeneous agents. The instantaneous utility of any consumer is assumed to depend on work effort, own consumption and relative consumption, where the latter determines the individual's status in the society. Appropriate normality conditions with respect to consumption and leisure ensure that at least in the long run status-conscious individuals consume and work too much, compared to the social optimum, and that the capital stock is too high. Public policy can, however, induce the private sector to attain the social optimum by designing an optimal consumption tax policy.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:85
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    File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/eco/es-85.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-116, March.
    2. Harbaugh, Richmond, 1996. "Falling behind the Joneses: relative consumption and the growth-savings paradox," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 297-304, December.
    3. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
    4. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
    5. Persson, Mats, 1995. " Why Are Taxes So High in Egalitarian Societies?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 569-580, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Walter Fisher & Franz Hof, 2000. "Relative consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 241-262, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Van Long, Ngo, 2011. "The relative income hypothesis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, pages 1489-1501.
    2. Benedetto Molinari & Francesco Turino, 2009. "Advertising, Labor Supply and the Aggregate Economy. A long run Analysis," Working Papers 09.16, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    3. Benchekroun, Hassan & Long, Ngo Van, 2016. "Status concern and the exploitation of common pool renewable resources," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, pages 70-82.
    4. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2008. "Relative Consumption and Resource Extraction," CIRANO Working Papers 2008s-27, CIRANO.
    5. Jennifer Hunt & Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle, 2010. "How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 31-56.
    6. Walter Fisher & F. Hof, 2008. "The quest for status and endogenous labor supply: the relative wealth framework," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 93(2), pages 109-144, March.
    7. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Monteiro, Goncalo, 2007. "Consumption externalities, production externalities, and efficient capital accumulation under time non-separable preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 479-504, February.
    8. Walter H. Fisher, 2008. "Imports, Status Preference, and Foreign Borrowing," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-20, February.
    9. Benchekroun, Hassan & Withagen, Cees, 2012. "On price taking behavior in a nonrenewable resource cartel–fringe game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 355-374.
    10. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, 2006. "Envy, Leisure, And Restrictions On Working Hours," Departmental Working Papers 2006-01, McGill University, Department of Economics.
    11. Walter H. Fisher, 2004. "Durable Consumption As A Status Good: A Study Of Neoclassical Cases," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 96, Society for Computational Economics.
    12. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado, 2007. "Envy, leisure, and restrictions on working hours," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1286-1310, November.
    13. Long, Ngo Van & Wang, Shengzu, 2009. "Resource-grabbing by status-conscious agents," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 39-50, May.
    14. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Van Long, Ngo, 2011. "Relative consumption and renewable resource extraction under alternative property-rights regimes," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 1028-1053.
    15. Pintea, Mihaela I., 2010. "Leisure externalities: Implications for growth and welfare," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1025-1040, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Status; Relative consumption; Work effort;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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