Fashionable food: a latent class analysis of social status in food purchases
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© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. A framed field experiment combined with a latent class econometric approach was used to investigate how prestige-seeking behaviour influences food choices. We propose a theoretical framework to test conspicuous consumption of specialty food products. We test the hypothesis empirically by categorizing individuals into unobserved latent classes according to their general prestige-seeking behaviour. We find evidence of food consumption driven by prestige to the point of becoming a symbol of social status. The prestige-seeking behaviour seems to be motivated by invidious comparison or higher-class individuals seeking to differentiate themselves from lower-class individuals; and pecuniary emulation, or lower-class individuals buying prestigious goods in order to be perceived as members of a higher class. Findings from this study revealed that the effects of differentiating labelling attributes had a higher impact for individuals classified into classes with prestige-seeking behaviour to attain an elevated social status.
author list (cited authors)
Palma, M. A., Ness, M. L., & Anderson, D. P.