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Showing off to the new neighbors? Income, socioeconomic status and consumption patterns of internal migrants

Alexander Danzer (), Barbara Dietz, Ksenia Gatskova () and Achim Schmillen

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2014, vol. 42, issue 1, 230-245

Abstract: This paper analyses incomes and socioeconomic status of internal migrants over time and in comparison to their new neighbors and investigates whether status consumption is a way for newly arrived city dwellers to signal their social standing. Using a novel dataset from the emerging economy of Kazakhstan we find that internal migrants earn an income and status premium for their move. In a comparison to indigenous city dwellers their earnings and household incomes are not significantly different; however, mobile households report a significantly higher subjective socio-economic status. Exploiting expenditure data, we find that recent migrant households gain status from using visible consumption to impress their new neighbors. This signaling might be used as adaptation to the new economic and social environment or to gain access to social capital.

Keywords: Absolute and relative welfare; Internal migration; Status consumption; Conspicuous consumption; Signaling model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P36 I31 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Working Paper: Showing Off to the New Neighbors? Income, Socioeconomic Status and Consumption Patterns of Internal Migrants (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Showing off to the new neighbors? Income, socioeconomic status and consumption patterns of internal migrants (2013)
Working Paper: Showing off to the new neighbors? Income, socioeconomic status and consumption patterns of internal migrants (2013) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:42:y:2014:i:1:p:230-245

DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2013.05.002

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