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Relative Social Status and Conflicting Measures of Poverty - A Behavioral Analytical Model

Listed author(s):
  • Sugata Marjit

    (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta)

  • Sattwik Santra

    (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta)

  • Koushik Kumar Hati

    (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta)

We consider a situation where the relatively ‘poor’ are concerned about their relative income status with respect to a relevant reference group. Such a concern is explicitly introduced in a utility function to study the consumption behavior of the poor. We point towards a possible conflict between income based and nutrition- based measure of poverty. Changes in income distribution generate non-homothetic outcome for an “otherwise homothetic†preference structure and may convert an “otherwise normal†good into an inferior good.

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File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/abstract/543.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series Discussion Papers Series with number 543.

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Date of creation: 24 Apr 2015
Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:543
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Web page: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/
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  1. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Nikolai Roussanov, 2009. "Conspicuous Consumption and Race," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 425-467.
  2. 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.
  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. Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao & Sonalde Desai, 2004. "Wedding Celebrations as Conspicuous Consumption: Signaling Social Status in Rural India," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  5. Khamis, Melanie & Prakash, Nishith & Siddique, Zahra, 2012. "Consumption and social identity: Evidence from India," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 353-371.
  6. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  8. Redzo Mujcic & Paul Frijters, 2013. "Economic choices and status: measuring preferences for income rank," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 47-73, January.
  9. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  10. Chao, Angela & Schor, Juliet B., 1998. "Empirical tests of status consumption: Evidence from women's cosmetics," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 107-131, February.
  11. Ireland, Norman J., 1994. "On limiting the market for status signals," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 91-110, January.
  12. Kaus, Wolfhard, 2013. "Conspicuous consumption and “race”: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 63-73.
  13. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
  14. Marjit, Sugata & Santra, Sattwik & Hati, Koushik Kumar, 2014. "Does inequality affect the consumption patterns of the poor? – The role of “status seeking” behaviour," MPRA Paper 54118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  16. Santra, Sattwik & Chaudhury, Ranajoy, 2015. "The American Pride and Aspiration," MPRA Paper 61649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. 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.
  18. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
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