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Conspicuous consumption
 

 

Consumtion of goods which is ostentatious and intended to impress, so that the satisfaction derived from the consumption arises from the effect on other people rather than from the inherent utility of the good itself. Such aspects of consumer psychology as these, and their implications for orthodox consurner theory, were most fully analysed by T. Veblen (1857-1929) in his book Theory of the Leisure Class (1899).

 

Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.