relative-income hypothesisthe hypo thesis that it is not a person's or a nation's absolute income that matters but his or its relative income. If this is so, then since all individuals or countries cannot become relatively better off, the pursuit of growth for growth's sake becomes futile. See alsoCONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005