Positional Goods and Legal Orderings

Published on the Encyclopedia of Law and Economics (Marciano A. and G.B. Ramello, Eds.; Springer)

10 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2017 Last revised: 19 Feb 2018

See all articles by Ugo Pagano

Ugo Pagano

University of Siena - Department of Economics

Massimiliano Vatiero

University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management; Università della Svizzera italiana

Date Written: October 3, 2017

Abstract

People consume because others consume, maintained Veblen in 1899. More recently, theoretical, empirical and experimental articles have argued that people constantly compare themselves to their environments and care greatly about their relative positions.

Given that competition for positions may produce social costs, we adopt a Law and Economics approach (i) to suggest legal remedies for positional competition, and (ii) to argue that, because legal relations are characterized in turn by positional characteristics, such legal remedies do not represent 'free lunches'.

Keywords: Positional good, Relative Consumption, Zero-sum game

JEL Classification: A14, B41, B52, D01

Suggested Citation

Pagano, Ugo and Vatiero, Massimiliano, Positional Goods and Legal Orderings (October 3, 2017). Published on the Encyclopedia of Law and Economics (Marciano A. and G.B. Ramello, Eds.; Springer). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3047156

Ugo Pagano

University of Siena - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza S. Francesco, 7
I-53100 Siena
Italy
+39 057 7232614 (Phone)
+39 057 7232661 (Fax)

Massimiliano Vatiero (Contact Author)

University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via Inama 5
Trento, I-38100
Italy

Università della Svizzera italiana ( email )

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano, Ticino 6900
Switzerland

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