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

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas Reinstaller

    () (Vienna University of Economics & B.A.)

  • Bulat Sanditov

    () (Merit, Maastricht University,)

Abstract

This paper presents a simple evolutionary model to study the diffusion patterns of product innovations for consumer goods. Following a Veblenian theme, we interpret consumption 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Reinstaller & Bulat Sanditov, 2003. "Social norms and equality of opportunity in conspicuous consumption: on the diffusion of consumer good innovation," Working Papers geewp29, Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwgee:geewp29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conspicuous consumption; consumption dynamics; diffusion of consumer goods; social norms; equality of opportunity;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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