Relative consumption, relative wealth, and long-run growth: when and why is the standard analysis prone to incorrect conclusions?

Franz, X Hof, Klaus Prettner

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


We employ a novel approach for analyzing the effects of relative consumption and relative wealth preferences on economic growth. In the pertinent literature, these effects are usually assessed by examining the dependence of the growth rate on the two parameters of the utility function that seem to measure the strength of the relative consumption and the relative wealth motives. Applying our fundamental factor approach, we identify specifications in which the traditional approach yields incorrect qualitative conclusions. The problematic specifications have the common unpleasant property that the parameter that seems to determine the strength of the relative consumption motive actually also affects the elasticity of intertemporal substitution of absolute consumption (and the strength of the relative wealth motive). Since the standard approach is unaware of the additional effect(s), it attributes the total change in the growth rate incorrectly to the change in the strength of the relative consumption motive.
FachzeitschriftMacroeconomic Dynamics
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2021

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 502047 Volkswirtschaftstheorie
  • 502018 Makroökonomie