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Self-Organization of Imperfect Markets under Price Dispersion: Invisible Hand Against Conspicious Consumption

Self-Organization of Imperfect Markets under Price Dispersion: Invisible Hand Against Conspicious Consumption

Journal of Institutional Studies, , Vol. 10 (no. 2),

The article confirms the identity of the marginal utilities of both consumption and leisure under the «common model» of the optimal search, when consumers reduce search and home production in favor of both labor and leisure, and under the classical labor-leisure choice. This identity takes place only for necessities when consumption is positively income inelastic. The willingness to accept, which matches the equilibrium price in the optimal search, under the «common model» is equal to marginal costs of purchase, that moves the marginal approach towards the labor theory of value. The income elastic demand takes place in the «leisure model» of optimal search when consumers reduce labor time in favor of search, home production, and leisure. Thus, the consumption of «luxuries» falls under the Veblen effect, it becomes conspicuous and gets the negative marginal utility. The willingness to accept under the «leisure model» is equal to marginal costs of missed enjoyment on consumption. The Invisible hand reduces the consumption to necessities and proposes to save the residual income where cash holdings become «luxury». Opportinity costs of cash holdings are equal to the utility of income elastic goods. The utility of cash holdings becomes negative and should be separated from consumption. If an investment does't become a necessity in time, it falls first as «luxury» during economic crisis.


Keywords: optimal consumption-leisure choicee, search, price dispersion, Invisible hand, income elasticity of demand, Veblen effect, conspicious c onsumption

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