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Interpersonal Effects in Consumption: Evidence from the Automobile Purchases of Neighbors

  • Mark Grinblatt
  • Matti Keloharju
  • Seppo Ikaheimo

This study analyzes the automobile purchase behavior of all residents of two Finnish provinces over several years. It finds that a consumer's purchases are strongly influenced by the purchases of his neighbors, particularly purchases in the recent past and by neighbors who are geographically most proximate. Most of the evidence points to information sharing rather than envy as a generator of consumer preferences.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number amz2474.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2004
Date of revision: 31 Dec 1969
Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:amz2474
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  1. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  2. Bearden, William O & Etzel, Michael J, 1982. " Reference Group Influence on Product and Brand Purchase Decisions," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 183-94, September.
  3. Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 1993. "Design Innovation and Fashion Cycles," Discussion Papers 1049, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. George J. Stigler, 1950. "The Development of Utility Theory. II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 373.
  5. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  6. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
  7. Fishman, Arthur, 1992. "Search Technology, Staggered Price-Setting, and Price Dispersion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 287-98, March.
  8. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew B. Abel, . "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation and Catching Up With the Jones," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 1-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  10. Basmann, Robert L & Molina, David J & Slottje, Daniel J, 1988. "A Note on Measuring Veblen's Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 531-35, August.
  11. Yeung Lewis Chan & Leonid Kogan, 2002. "Catching Up with the Joneses: Heterogeneous Preferences and the Dynamics of Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(6), pages 1255-1285, December.
  12. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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.
  15. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, December.
  16. Cochrane, John H. & Campbell, John, 1999. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Scholarly Articles 3119444, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  18. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-77, October.
  19. Robson, Arthur J, 1992. "Status, the Distribution of Wealth, Private and Social Attitudes to Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 837-57, July.
  20. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
  21. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  22. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
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