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

13 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2007

See all articles by Fredrik Carlsson

Fredrik Carlsson

Goeteborg University - School of Economics & Commercial Law

Olof Johansson-Stenman

Goeteborg University - School of Economics & Commercial Law

Peter Martinsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics and Statistics

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 choice experiment to measure people's perceptions of the degree to which such concerns matter, i.e. the degree of positionality. Based on a random sample in Sweden, income and cars are found to be highly positional, on average, in contrast to leisure and car safety. Leisure may even be completely non-positional. Potential policy implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Carlsson, Fredrik and Johansson-Stenman, Olof and Martinsson, Peter, Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods. Economica, Vol. 74, No. 296, pp. 586-598, November 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1022703 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2006.00571.x

Fredrik Carlsson (Contact Author)

Goeteborg University - School of Economics & Commercial Law ( email )

Box 640
SE 405 30 Goeteborg
Sweden
+46 31-773 4174 (Phone)
+46 31-773 1043 (Fax)

Olof Johansson-Stenman

Goeteborg University - School of Economics & Commercial Law ( email )

Box 640
SE 405 30 Goeteborg
Sweden
+46-31-773 25 38 (Phone)
+46-31-773 13 26 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/EEU/johansso.htm

Peter Martinsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

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