IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/83338.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Conspicuous Consumption and Within-Group Income Inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Li, Li
  • Mak, Eric
  • Pivovarova, Margarita

Abstract

Individuals engage in conspicuous consumption to signal their income to their own reference groups, defined in a fine manner by observable identifiers such as race, gender, education, and occupation. The more income inequality within a reference group, the less prior information concerning the income of an individual, and hence the more effective the conspicuous consumption signal. Therefore, within-group income inequality causes substitution from non-conspicuous consumption to conspicuous consumption. We find strong evidence supporting this prediction regarding aggregate conspicuous consumption for all income percentiles. Disaggregating into smaller consumption categories, most consumption items categorized by the previous literature as conspicuous and non-conspicuous using survey methods agrees with this prediction as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Li & Mak, Eric & Pivovarova, Margarita, 2016. "Conspicuous Consumption and Within-Group Income Inequality," MPRA Paper 83338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:83338
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/83338/10/MPRA_paper_83338.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Harold L. Cole & George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 1995. "Incorporating concern for relative wealth into economic models," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, vol. 19(Sum), pages 12-21.
    2. Abhijit Banerjee & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2010. "The Shape of Temptation: Implications for the Economic Lives of the Poor," Working Papers id:2484, eSocialSciences.
    3. Omer Moav and & Zvika Neeman, 2012. "Saving Rates and Poverty: The Role of Conspicuous Consumption and Human Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(563), pages 933-956, September.
    4. Kyle Carlson & Joshua Kim & Annamaria Lusardi & Colin F. Camerer, 2015. "Bankruptcy Rates among NFL Players with Short-Lived Income Spikes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 381-384, May.
    5. Ireland, Norman J., 1994. "On limiting the market for status signals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 91-110, January.
    6. Kaus, Wolfhard, 2013. "Conspicuous consumption and “race”: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 63-73.
    7. Bengt Holmström, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 169-182.
    8. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
    9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    10. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-373, June.
    11. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sugata Marjit & Arijit Mukherjee & Koushik Kumar Hati, 2015. "Relative Social Status and Conflicting Measures of Poverty: A Behavioural Analytical Model," Discussion Papers 2015-02, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    2. Santra, Sattwik & Chaudhury, Ranajoy, 2015. "The American Pride and Aspiration," MPRA Paper 61649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Mazali, Rogério & Rodrigues-Neto, José A., 2013. "Dress to impress: Brands as status symbols," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 103-131.
    4. Alessandra Luzzi & Amir Sasson, 2016. "Individual Entrepreneurial Exit and Earnings in Subsequent Paid Employment," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 40(2), pages 401-420, March.
    5. Clarke, Jonathan & Subramanian, Ajay, 2006. "Dynamic forecasting behavior by analysts: Theory and evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 81-113, April.
    6. Byford, Martin C., 2017. "Moral hazard in strategic decision making," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 114-136.
    7. Samuel Bowles & Yongjin Park, 2005. "Emulation, Inequality, and Work Hours: Was Thorsten Veblen Right?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(507), pages 397-412, November.
    8. Christopher P. Roth, 2014. "Conspicuous Consumption and Peer Effects among the Poor: Evidence From a Field Experiment," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2014-29, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    9. Friedrichsen, Jana, 2018. "Signals Sell: Product Lines when Consumers Differ Both in Taste for Quality and Image Concern," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 70, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    10. Kaus, Wolfhard, 2013. "Conspicuous consumption and “race”: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 63-73.
    11. Gottlieb, Daniel & Maestri, Lucas Jóver, 2004. "Banning information as a redistributive device," FGV EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 555, EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance - FGV EPGE (Brazil).
    12. Rege, Mari, 2008. "Why do people care about social status?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 233-242, May.
    13. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1998. "Social organization, status, and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 37-51, October.
    14. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2012. "Redistribution and the notion of social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 651-657.
    15. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2012. "Social Decision Theory: Choosing within and between Groups," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1591-1636.
    16. Perez Truglia, Ricardo Nicolas, 2007. "Conspicuous consumption in the land of Prince Charming," MPRA Paper 22009, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 Mar 2010.
    17. Fernando Jaramillo & Fabien Moizeau, 2003. "Conspicuous Consumption and Social Segmentation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, January.
    18. Anne-Kathrin Bronsert & Amihai Glazer & Kai A. Konrad, 2017. "Old money, the nouveaux riches and Brunhilde’s marriage strategy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 163-186, January.
    19. Christopher P Roth, 2014. "Conspicuous Consumption and Peer Effects among the Poor: Evidence From a Field Experiment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-29, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    20. Arantxa Jarque, 2008. "CEO compensation : trends, market changes, and regulation," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 94(Sum), pages 265-300.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conspicuous Consumption; Within-Group Income Inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • 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:83338. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Joachim Winter (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    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.