Dynamist Blog

Conspicuous Consumption in the Intangible Economy

Tyler Cowen may seem like a nice, non-materialistic intellectual (and he is in fact both nice and intellectual), but he is a master of conspicuous consumption. What are all these posts about his travels, if not a way of demonstrating that he has ample free time, extra money, and refined taste? A lot of far richer people can't afford his relatively cheap adventures. Some people collect expensive handbags; he collects experiences. Experiences require less closet space but more leisure time. Expect to see more of Tyler's version of conspicuous consumption as intangibles account for more and more economic value. (Yeah, I'm jealous.)

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