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Redistribution and the Notion of Social Status

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  • Ennio Bilancini

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  • Leonardo Boncinelli

    ()

Abstract

In this paper we study the impact of redistributive policies when agents can signal their relative standing by spending on a conspicuous good. In particular, we analyze how the shape of the status function (i.e. how relative standing is computed and evaluated) may affect the equilibrium outcome of the model. Our main nding is that, if status depends in a cardinal way on individuals' relative standing, then a redistribution from the rich to the poor can be Pareto improving. We identify a necessary and sucient condition for the latter case.

Suggested Citation

  • Ennio Bilancini & Leonardo Boncinelli, 2008. "Redistribution and the Notion of Social Status," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 029, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  • Handle: RePEc:mod:recent:029
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. König, Tobias & Lausen, Tobias, 2016. "Relative consumption preferences and public provision of private goods," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-213, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2014. "Instrumental cardinal concerns for social status in two-sided matching with non-transferable utility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 174-189.
    3. König, Tobias & Lausen, Tobias, 2017. "Relative Consumption Preferences and Public Provision of Private Goods," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 18, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    4. Friehe, Tim & Mechtel, Mario, 2014. "Conspicuous consumption and political regimes: Evidence from East and West Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 62-81.
    5. Bilancini, Ennio & D'Alessandro, Simone, 2012. "Long-run welfare under externalities in consumption, leisure, and production: A case for happy degrowth vs. unhappy growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 194-205.
    6. König, Tobias & Lausen, Tobias & Wagener, Andreas, 2016. "Image concerns and the political economy of publicly provided private goods," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-214, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    7. Florian Baumann & Tim Friehe & Inga Hillesheim, 2015. "Status and Liability," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 171(2), pages 285-307, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social status; relative standing; consumption externalities; redistribution; signalling; conspicuous consumption; income inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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