“Veblen Good”


This is a term defined in today’s Lexicon of the Financial Times. Veblen good is “a luxury item whose price does not follow the laws of supply and demand….the item becomes more desirable as it grows more expensive.”

I remember the retail adage of don’t price something so low that no one will buy it. As I mostly buy books, I wonder if Amazon will ever find a price so low that no one will buy the book. Perhaps this has already been answered.

Those of us who would treat books as luxury items are happy that books have become cheap commodities. What books other than rare first editions will ever again become veblen goods? I think only when authors stop writing at any price, but a book rebellion inspired by authors is unlikely.

I liken authors to professional athletes.  If all of a sudden paying millions to athletes stopped cold would they no longer play sports? I think they would play at any price and so will authors.

Maybe the bottom line adage is money isn’t everything. Hmm, now what about Wall Street? Will their thing always be money is everything?

3 thoughts on ““Veblen Good”

  1. New Hampshire Garden Solutions March 17, 2014 / 6:26 pm

    I’m not sure I understand why someone would want something just because it was expensive. There is a book I’d like that cost $100.00, but I want it because of the content, not because it is so expensive.

    • fictionfitz March 18, 2014 / 5:12 am

      Would you want it more at $200? I think you and I are more often preaching to the choir.

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