Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods
Article first published online: 6 MAR 2007
Volume 74, Issue 296, pages 586–598, November 2007
How to Cite
CARLSSON, F., JOHANSSON-STENMAN, O. and MARTINSSON, P. (2007), Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods. Economica, 74: 586–598. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.2006.00571.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 6 MAR 2007
- Final version received 23 June 2006.
Although conventional economic theory proposes that only the absolute levels of income and consumption matter for people's utility, there is much evidence that relative concerns are often important. This paper uses a choice experiment to measure people's perceptions of the degree to which such concerns matter, i.e. the degree of positionality. Based on a random sample in Sweden, income and cars are found to be highly positional, on average, in contrast to leisure and car safety. Leisure may even be completely non-positional. Potential policy implications are discussed.