100 Books: Texts That Influenced My Intellectual Thinking and Scholarship–Theory of the Leisure Class

Conspicuous consumption is a term introduced by the Norwegian-American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class, published in 1899.

The term refers to consumers who buy expensive items to display wealth and income rather than to cover the real needs of the consumer.

Such consumers tend to display their behavior in order to maintain or to gain higher social status.

The usually small elite of flashy consumers have strong impact and influence over other, usually lower or middle classes, seeking to emulate the aforementioned behavior.

According to Veblen, one of many negative results of conspicuous consumption is a growing materialistic society, characterized the waste of time, energy, and money.