Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/32673
Authors: 
Woersdorfer, Julia Sophie
Year of Publication: 
2008
Series/Report no.: 
Papers on economics and evolution 0810
Abstract: 
Interdependencies in consumer behavior stem from either status-seeking consumption or compliance with social norms. This paper analyzes how a consumption act changes from a means to signal the consumer's status to a means of norm compliance. It is shown that such a transformation can only be understood when consumer motivations other than social recognition are taken into account. We depict norm emergence as a learning process based on changing associations between a specific consumption act and widely shared, non-subjectivist consumer needs. Our conjectures are illustrated by means of a case study: the emergence of the cleanliness norm in the 19th century.
Subjects: 
social norms
status seeking
externalities
consumer needs
consumer learning
cleanliness
JEL: 
D02
D11
D62
D83
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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