Status Preferences and Economic Growth
This paper examines the implications of status-seeking behavior for long-term growth in a competitive economy. We explore the intuitive hypothesis that the quest for enhanced economic status leads to excessive levels of production and consumption. In a Ramsey growth model in which preferences are altered to include a concern for relative consumption, status seeking has no impacts on the economys long-run equilibrium in the absence of a labor-leisure tradeoff. Relative consumption effects do, however, induce short-term departures from efficient resource allocation, either augmenting or depressing consumption growth rates in accordance with the elasticity of substitution between consumption and status. In the case where social status is defined in terms of the relative accumulation of manufactured capital, status seeking leads to excessive rates of short-run growth and inefficiently high levels of capital and consumption in the long-run equilibrium. Similar results hold when preferences embody a concern for career status as captured by the relative accumulation of human capital, and when relative consumption effects are accompanied by a labor-leisure tradeoff.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1998|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O.Box 8131 Dep, N-0033 Oslo, Norway|
Phone: (+47) 21 09 00 00
Fax: +47 - 62 88 55 95
Web page: http://www.ssb.no/en/
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.:
- Fershtman, Chaim & Murphy, Kevin M & Weiss, Yoram, 1996.
"Social Status, Education, and Growth,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 108-132, February.
- Howarth, Richard B., 1996. "Status effects and environmental externalities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 25-34, January.
- Kjell Arne Brekke & Richard B. Howarth, 1998. "The Social Contingency of Wants Implications for Growth and the Environment," Discussion Papers 227, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
- Romer, Paul M, 1986.
"Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
- Andrew Postlewaite, "undated".
"The Social Basis of Interdependent Preferences,"
Penn CARESS Working Papers
6bd000503382ae2f0b90d25e3, Penn Economics Department.
- Oswald, A.J., 1997.
"Happiness and Economic Performance,"
18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
- Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
- Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-380, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:240. 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: (L MaasÃ¸)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.