Contests & Conflict | 11/15/2023 | 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Status-seeking and the importance of status in a rent-seeking society

Speaker: J. Atsu Amegashie

Date & Time: Los Angeles (8 am), Cincinnati (11 am), Bath (4 pm), Munich (5 pm), Beijing (November 16, 12 am), Singapore (November 16, 12 am), Sydney (November 16, 3 am)

J. Atsu Amegashie will present the paper titled "Status-seeking and the importance of status in a rent-seeking society".

This talk is part of the Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict, an online seminar series with researchers from across the world. You can sign up to the Global Network to get information and invitations (including the Zoom Link for each event) about the Global Seminar hereMax-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen: Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict (

You can directly access the event here:


(Meeting ID: 660 4272 6006, Passcode: 346165)

Abstract of the Paper:

Human beings care about their relative position in society. We keep up with the Joneses. We are status-seekers. Status-seeking is not necessarily bad. In some cases, status is achieved through hard work and legitimate means. In others, it is through corruption and theft. The premium on social status is much higher in some societies than in others. When the weight on (importance of) status is too high in a society (e.g., a person is accorded respect regardless of the source of his wealth), corruption may be rife in that society. The detrimental effects of such status-seeking can be reinforcing in the sense that the poorer or more unequal is the society, the higher is the return on status and the stronger is the incentive to acquire status through corruption or illegitimate means which, in turn, leads to more social poverty and inequality. 

I consider a model in which status can be achieved either through legitimate/productive accumulation of wealth and/or through theft (rent-seeking). I examine the effect of an increase in the importance of status on rent-seeking and the legitimate accumulation of wealth.

Chair: Kai A. Konrad, Co-Chair: Subhasish Chowdhury

Contact Person

Event Team

Max-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen

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