The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Conspicuous Consumption

  • F. Stanković
Reference work entry


Conspicuous consumption means the use of consumer goods in such a way as to create a display for the purpose of impressing others rather than for the satisfaction of normal consumer demand. It is consumption intended chiefly as an ostentatious display of wealth. The concept of conspicuous consumption was introduced into economic theory by Thorstein Veblen (1899) in the context of his analysis of the latent functions of ‘conspicuous consumption’ and ‘conspicuous waste’ as symbols of upper-class status and as competitive methods of enhancing individual prestige.


Conspicuous consumption McCulloch, J. R. Rae, J. Say, J.-B. Scarcity Smith, A. Vanity Veblen effect Veblen, T 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Stanković
    • 1
  1. 1.