IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/22641.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Income Inequality, Status Seeking, and Consumption

Author

Listed:
  • Jin, Ye
  • Wu, Binzhen
  • Li, Hongbin

Abstract

Using the Chinese urban household survey data between 1997 and 2006, we find that income inequality has a negative (positive) impact on households’ consumption (savings), even after we control for family income. We argue that people save to improve their social status when social status is associated with pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits. Rising income inequality can strengthen the incentives of status-seeking savings by increasing the benefit of improving status and enlarging the wealth level that is required for status upgrading. We also find that the negative effect of income inequality on consumption is stronger for poorer and younger people, and income inequality stimulates more education investment, which are consistent with the status seeking hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Jin, Ye & Wu, Binzhen & Li, Hongbin, 2010. "Income Inequality, Status Seeking, and Consumption," MPRA Paper 22641, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 May 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22641
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/22641/1/MPRA_paper_22641.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pham, Thi Kim Cuong, 2005. "Economic growth and status-seeking through personal wealth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 407-427, June.
    2. Shang-Jin Wei & Xiaobo Zhang, 2011. "The Competitive Saving Motive: Evidence from Rising Sex Ratios and Savings Rates in China," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 511-564.
    3. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    4. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1999. "Social Organization in an Endogenous Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 711-725, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. David Pejčoch, 2014. "CADAQUES: The Methodology for Complex Data and Information Management," Acta Informatica Pragensia, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2014(1), pages 44-56.
    2. Chen, Xi, 2013. "Relative Deprivation in China," MPRA Paper 48582, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; social status; consumption and savings; status seeking; education investment;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:22641. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.