Emulation and Consumer Debt: Implications of Keeping-Up with the Joneses
We develop a stock-flow consistent neo-Kaleckian macro model which incorporates consumption emulation and consumer debt accumulation. Income distributional dimension is also incorporated via the conflict-claims approach of inflation. Using this model, we investigate the macroeconomic effects of lower income group's consumption emulation of higher income group through borrowing. We find that emulation could expand aggregate demand and hence generate a faster economic growth. Our results also indicate that consumption emulation could be a source of widening income inequality.
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