Conspicuous consumption
Conspicuous consumption is spending on goods and services acquired mainly for the purpose of displaying income or wealth. In the mind of a conspicuous consumer, such display serves as a means of attaining or maintaining social status
Social status
In sociology or anthropology, social status is the honor or prestige attached to one's position in society . It may also refer to a rank or position that one holds in a group, for example son or daughter, playmate, pupil, etc....


Invidious consumption, a more specialized term, refers to consumption deliberately intended to cause envy
Envy is best defined as a resentful emotion that "occurs when a person lacks another's superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it."...

The term conspicuous consumption was introduced by economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Veblen
Thorstein Bunde Veblen, born Torsten Bunde Veblen was an American economist and sociologist, and a leader of the so-called institutional economics movement...

 in his 1899 book The Theory of the Leisure Class
The Theory of the Leisure Class
The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions is a book, first published in 1899, by the Norwegian-American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago....