Social Status in Economic Theory

33 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2010

See all articles by Tom Truyts

Tom Truyts

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB); Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis à Bruxelles; Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Abstract

Social distinction or status is an important motivation of human behaviour. This paper provides a selective survey of recent advances in the economic analysis of the origins and consequences of social status concerns. First, a selection of empirical research from a variety of scientific disciplines is discussed to underpin the further theoretical analysis. I then consider the origins and determinants of tastes for status, discuss the endogenous derivation of such preferences for relative standing and assess the different formalizations of these preferences. Subsequently, the consequences of preferences for status are studied for a variety of problems and settings. The last section discusses a number of implications of status concerns for normative economics and public policy.

Suggested Citation

Truyts, Tom, Social Status in Economic Theory. Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 137-169, February 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1531934 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6419.2009.00579.x

Tom Truyts (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis à Bruxelles ( email )

Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 43
Bruxelles, 1000
Belgium

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Voie du Roman Pays
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, b-1348
Belgium

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