Envy and Habits: Panel Data Estimates of Interdependent Preferences
27 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2016
Date Written: August 2016
We estimate the importance of preference interdependence from consumption choices. Our strategy follows the literature that tests the constraints imposed by optimality on the evolution of individual consumption. The introduction of habits and envy places additional restrictions on the evolution of the optimal consumption path. We use a unique data set to test these restrictions. Our estimates suggest that, if one defines utility over consumption services, a large fraction of these services is relative, with one third of the weight placed in the consumption of the reference group and another third placed in the agent's past consumption.
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