Citation

Discussion Paper Details

Please find the details for DP14407 in an easy to copy and paste format below:

Full Details   |   Bibliographic Reference

Full Details

Title: The Political Economy of Status Competition: Sumptuary Laws in Preindustrial Europe

Author(s): Desiree Desierto and Mark Koyama

Publication Date: February 2020

Keyword(s): political economy, regulation, rent-seeking and Status competition

Programme Area(s): Economic History

Abstract: Sumptuary laws that regulated clothing based on social status were an important part of the political economy of premodern states. We introduce a model that rationalizes the use of sumptuary laws by elites to regulate status competition from below. Our model predicts a non-monotonic effect of income - sumptuary legislation initially increases with income, but then falls as income increases further. The initial rise is more likely for states with less extractive institutions, whose ruling elites face greater status threat from the rising commercial class. We test these predictions using a newly collected dataset of country and city-level sumptuary laws.

For full details and related downloads, please visit: https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14407

Bibliographic Reference

Desierto, D and Koyama, M. 2020. 'The Political Economy of Status Competition: Sumptuary Laws in Preindustrial Europe'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research. https://cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14407