Landscape Dynamics

The Dynamics of Conspicuous Consumption
Veblen Model: the Envy Rule

This is an exemplary model that shows our approach in the context of an intuitive and well-known problem. Primary sources: Friedman, 2001; see also Friedman and Yellin, 1997, and also Friedman and Yellin, 2001. (See References.)

There are two basic flavors of conspicuous consumption, as described in the literature: envy and pride. For the present, we restrict attention to the envy model. In our implentation of the model, the initial distribution may be constructed. (See the explanation below.)


  • Explanation rev 5.x
    Explains the math, the interface, and recommended experiments
  • Notes rev 5.x
    Explains the math, PDF format
  • Applet rev 5.3
    The applet has been created with NetLogo 2.0.0.
    It will run in any browser that supports Java 1.4 applets.
    Pops up in a separate window, so explanation can be viewed here.
  • NetLogo Model rev 5.3
    This page is the NetLogo program code, as plain text.
    If you have NetLogo 2.0.0 or higher, you may select this file, then SaveAs Veblen.nlogo on your Desktop, and Open it in NetLogo.
  • NetLogo Code rev 5.3
    This is the 284 line program for Veblen.
  • Simulated Hump Movie
    Animated GIF of Veblen Rev 5.2, 300 KB download
    Shows a heap of consumers attracted to a delta function.
  • Analytic Hump Movie
    Animation of the analytic solution, made with MATLAB and GIFfun.
    Follows closely the derivation in the Appendix.
  • Two Trains Movie
    Animated GIF of Veblen Rev 5.2, 125 KB download
    Shows a two trains of consumers attracted to a delta function.
  • References
    Annotated bibliography for conspicuous consumption.

  • Revised 29 April 2005 by Ralph Abraham