Sexual selection of conspicuous consumption
Vaios Koliofotis ()
Additional contact information
Vaios Koliofotis: Erasmus University Rotterdam
Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2022, vol. 32, issue 2, No 6, 552 pages
Abstract Recently, a number of papers draw upon ideas from sexual selection and costly signaling theory to argue that conspicuous consumption has evolved as a sexually selected mating strategy. I outline what are considered to be the criteria for arguing that a trait is the outcome of sexual selection and I explore whether conspicuous consumption is sexual adaptation. Though I share the insight that evolutionary theory can contribute to our understanding of consumption behavior, I argue that existing evolutionary explanations of conspicuous consumption do not examine human evolved psychology and available evidence about past environments. I further argue that cultural evolution theory provides an alternative explanation of conspicuous consumption in modern environments. In particular, conspicuous consumption is understood as a pattern of behavior marked by specific social learning mechanisms. Such an approach reflects the analytical tools of cultural evolution theory and provides a classification of cognitive factors involved in consumption choices.
Keywords: Conspicuous consumption; consumer learning, Sexual selection, Costly signaling (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 B15 B52 D01 D11 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00191-021-00753-4 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:spr:joevec:v:32:y:2022:i:2:d:10.1007_s00191-021-00753-4
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Evolutionary Economics is currently edited by Uwe Cantner, Elias Dinopoulos, Horst Hanusch and Luigi Orsenigo
More articles in Journal of Evolutionary Economics from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla () and Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing ().