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Do You Enjoy Having More Than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods

Fredrik Carlsson (), Olof Johansson-Stenman () and Peter Martinsson

No 100, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

Abstract: Although conventional economic theory proposes that only the absolute levels of income and consumption matter for people’s utility, there is much evidence that relative concerns are often important. This paper uses a survey-experimental method to measure people’s perceptions of the degree to which such concerns matter, i.e. the degree of positionality. Based on a representative sample in Sweden, income and cars are found to be highly positional, on average. This is in contrast to leisure and car safety, which may even be completely non-positional.

Keywords: Relative income; relative consumption; positional goods; survey-experimental method; marginal degree of positionality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-exp
Date: 2003-05-30
Note: Published in Economics, 2007, Vol. 74. pp. 586-598
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (24) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Economica, 2007, pages 586-598.

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