Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 1291–1319 | Cite as

Gambling to leapfrog in status?

  • Tim Friehe
  • Mario Mechtel


This paper tests our theoretical prediction that households with positional concerns use gambling to attempt leapfrogging in the social hierarchy. We rely on household data that is representative for Germany and proxy the households’ positional concerns by their expenditures for conspicuous consumption. Our empirical results strongly indicate that households who care about status are not only more likely to participate in gambling but also to invest more in gambling.


Conspicuous consumption Status Relative income Gambling Behavioral economics 

JEL Classification

D12 D14 D62 



We gratefully acknowledge the comments received from Laszlo Goerke, Florian Hett, Stephan Jank, Markus Pannenberg, and two anonymous reviewers on earlier versions of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Economics GroupUniversity of MarburgMarburgGermany
  2. 2.CESifoMunichGermany
  3. 3.Institute of EconomicsLeuphana University of LüneburgLüneburgGermany
  4. 4.IAAEUTrierGermany

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