IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Envy And Inequality

  • Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado

    ()

  • Ngo Van Long

    ()

We present an overlapping generations economy populated by heterogeneous agents who care about their consumption relative to others and the bequest they leave to their offspring. In the presence of positional concerns individual saving and bequest rates vary across the income distribution. This dispersion in the rates of asset accumulation is the main channel for envy to impact the degree of intra-generational wealth inequality and its inter-generational transmission. Our results suggest that concerns for relative consumption might be an important explanatory factor for the surprisingly low levels of assets held by low-income households and the high concentration of bequests in the upper tail of the wealth distribution.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.mcgill.ca/files/economics/Envy_and_inequality_with_figures.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by McGill University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2009-03.

as
in new window

Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2009-03
Contact details of provider: Postal: 855 Sherbrooke St. W., Montréal, Québec, H3A 2T7
Phone: (514) 398-3030
Fax: (514) 398-4938
Web page: http://www.repec.mcgill.ca

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Scholarly Articles 3721794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2005. "Estate Taxes, Consumption Externalities, and Altruism," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 658.05, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Andrew B. Abel, 2005. "Optimal Taxation when Consumers Have Endogenous Benchmark Levels of Consumption," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 21-42.
  4. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Deaton, A. & Paxson, C., 1993. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Papers 168, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  6. Liu, Wen-Fang & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2005. "Consumption externalities, production externalities, and long-run macroeconomic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 1097-1129, June.
  7. Curtis Eaton & Mukesh Eswaran, 2003. "The evolution of preferences and competition: a rationalization of Veblen's theory of invidious comparisons," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(4), pages 832-859, November.
  8. Joseph G. Altonji & Ernesto Villanueva, 2003. "The Marginal Propensity to Spend on Adult Children," NBER Working Papers 9811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675 Elsevier.
  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. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "Precautionary Saving and Accidental Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 777-91, September.
  14. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Bossmann, Martin & Kleiber, Christian & Walde, Klaus, 2007. "Bequests, taxation and the distribution of wealth in a general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1247-1271, August.
  16. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  17. Gali, J., 1992. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices," Papers 92-22, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  18. Moav, Omer & Neeman, Zvika, 2008. "Conspicuous Consumption, Human Capital and Poverty," CEPR Discussion Papers 6864, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  20. Neumark, David & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1998. "Relative income concerns and the rise in married women's employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 157-183, October.
  21. Jordi Caballé & Ana Moro-Egido, 2008. "The Effect of Aspirations, Habits, and Social Security on the Distribution of Wealth," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 761.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  22. 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.
  23. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Nikolai Roussanov, 2009. "Conspicuous Consumption and Race," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 425-467, May.
  24. Fisher, Walter H. & Heijdra, Ben J., 2007. "Keeping up with the Ageing Joneses," Economics Series 204, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  25. 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.
  26. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  27. Ireland, Norman J., 1994. "On limiting the market for status signals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 91-110, January.
  28. repec:cor:louvrp:-1117 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2009-03. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shama Rangwala)

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Shama Rangwala to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.