Preferences for Status: Evidence and Economic Implications

HANDBOOK OF SOCIAL ECONOMICS, Jess Benhabib, Alberto Bisin, Matthew Jackson, eds., Vol. 1A, The Netherlands: North-Holland, pp. 69–91.

Johnson School Research Paper Series No. #05-09

38 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2008 Last revised: 22 Sep 2013

Ori Heffetz

Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management; Hebrew University of Jerusalem; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert H. Frank

Cornell University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 1, 2008

Abstract

This chapter was prepared for Elsevier's Handbook of Social Economics (edited by Jess Benhabib, Alberto Bisin, and Matthew Jackson). It brings together some of the recent empirical and experimental evidence regarding preferences for social status. While briefly reviewing evidence from different literatures that is consistent with the existence of preferences for status, we pay special attention to experimental work that attempts to study status directly by inducing it in the lab. Finally, we discuss some economic implications.

Keywords: preferences for status, positional concerns, subjective well-being, conspicuous consumption, positional externalities, relative income, status experiments

JEL Classification: C90, D01, D1, D62, Z10, Z13

Suggested Citation

Heffetz, Ori and Frank, Robert H., Preferences for Status: Evidence and Economic Implications (July 1, 2008). HANDBOOK OF SOCIAL ECONOMICS, Jess Benhabib, Alberto Bisin, Matthew Jackson, eds., Vol. 1A, The Netherlands: North-Holland, pp. 69–91.; Johnson School Research Paper Series No. #05-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1155422

Ori Heffetz (Contact Author)

Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

324 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL 91905
Israel

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/~heffetz

Robert Frank

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
607-255-8501 (Phone)
607-254-4590 (Fax)

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