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
Date Written: October 3, 2017
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: Suggested Citation