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Conspicuous Consumption - A study of prestige-related consumer behavior


  • Amanda Bergman

Summary, in English

The tendency to buy expensive and unnecessary goods is a pattern of consumer behavior that is becoming all too common in our society. We consume luxury items to satisfy practical needs that are already satisfied in the quest toward self-fulfillment, or simply to impress those around us. The phenomenon of “status consumption” has become increasingly evident in modern society. Although conspicuous consumption is more or less limited to developed countries it makes up an overwhelming part of the consumption where it does exist. The term conspicuous consumption was coined by the economist Thorstein Veblen in his book “the theory of the leisure class” where he defines it as the buying of unnecessary and expensive products and services as a way to show off wealth. This paper will explore which factors motivate this form of consumption and in turn how this behavior affects the consumer as well as the economy.

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (one year)


  • Business and Economics


  • economic growth
  • consumer behavior
  • conspicuous consumption
  • status consumption
  • Veblen
  • welfare
  • Economics, econometrics, economic theory, economic systems, economic policy
  • Nationalekonomi, ekonometri, ekonomisk teori, ekonomiska system, ekonomisk politik


  • Jerker Holm