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Status, Growth and the Environment: Goods As Symbols in Applied Welfare Economics

Status, Growth and the Environment: Goods As Symbols in Applied Welfare Economics

1769345
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Описание
Integrating theory and evidence from a range of social sciences, the authors argue that the satisfaction derived from material goods depends upon their symbolic meaning, as people use goods to reinforce a positive social identity. They further contend that this calls for the incorporation of status preferences in economic models. The book finds that concerns over social status may lead decision makers to significantly overvalue consumption and undervalue the natural environment. In addition, income and consumption taxes that are normally regarded as ‘distortionary’ may be necessary to address the social costs of status signaling. Based on the available evidence, the authors argue that failing to account for status preferences can lead to flawedpolicy prescriptions in debates over optimal taxation, the economics of climate change and Environmental Kuznets Curves. To address this bias, the book offers a tractable, operational, and theoretically grounded approach to the economics of social status.