The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Status and Economics

  • Sheryl Ball
Reference work entry


Social status both affects and is affected by earnings and wealth. Research on status examines status-seeking behaviour, and the impact of acquired and endowed status. Status characteristics such as wealth and education can be acquired; others such as beauty, gender, or race are endowed. Status hierarchies appear to waste resources, as agents expend effort and income acquiring position, but such social structures may also benefit societies.


Animus Black–white labour market inequality in the United States Conspicuous consumption Incomplete information Positional externalities Reciprocity Social norms Statistical discrimination Status and economics Status seeking Trust Veblen, T. Wage discrimination Women’s work and wages 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheryl Ball
    • 1
  1. 1.