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Social norms and equality of opportunity in conspicuous consumption: on the diffusion of consumer good innovation

  • Reinstaller Andreas
  • Sanditov Bulat

    (MERIT)

This paper presents a simple evolutionary model to study the diffusion patterns of product innovations for consumer goods. Following a Veblenian theme, we interpretconsumption as a social activity constrained by social norms and equality of opportunity. Societies that allow for more behavioral variety will experience faster adoption of new consumer goods. We also find that the speed of diffusion as well as the saturation levels reached highly depend on the equality of opportunity. Combining these two effects, we conclude that a social structure displaying behavioral variety and equal opportunities dominates any other social set-up in terms of the speed of adoption of product innovations.

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File URL: http://digitalarchive.maastrichtuniversity.nl/fedora/objects/guid:f5e6d8d0-5f04-4372-a67a-914277f38a06/datastreams/ASSET1/content
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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series Research Memorandum with number 017.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umamer:2003017
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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  2. Iannaccone, Laurence R., 1989. "Bandwagons and the threat of chaos : Interpersonal effects revisited," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 431-442, May.
  3. Congleton, Roger D., 1989. "Efficient status seeking: Externalities, and the evolution of status games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 175-190, March.
  4. Hayakawa, Hiroaki & Venieris, Yiannis P, 1977. "Consumer Interdependence via Reference Groups," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 599-615, June.
  5. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, snobbism and conformism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 55-71, October.
  6. 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 349-73, June.
  7. Cressman R., 1995. "Evolutionary Game Theory with Two Groups of Individuals," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 237-253, November.
  8. Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
  9. Cowan, R. & Cowan, W. & Swann, P., 1996. "A Model of Demand with Interactions Among Consumers," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9609, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  10. Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1993. "Design Innovation and Fashion Cycles," Discussion Papers 1049, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Geroski, P. A., 2000. "Models of technology diffusion," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 603-625, April.
  12. Rauscher, Michael, 1993. "Demand for social status and the dynamics of consumer behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 105-113.
  13. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  14. 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.
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