What Are Luxuries?

Luxury items are items perceived to have a high monetary value. In economics, a luxury good would be a good that increases in price proportionately to income, so that expenses on the item become a higher proportion of overall personal spending. Economists define luxury as a good whose price increases with income-that is, it is a product or service of growing wealth. Luxury goods tend to generate high profits for their owners; hence, they tend to generate low prices or rents.


Luxury goods can be divided into two broad categories: normal goods that are not traded on the market and luxury goods that are traded on the market. The luxuries included in this category include jewelry, works of art, antiques, furniture, wines, automobiles, and other durable personal property. Normally, in a growing country, luxury goods may comprise a large part of total personal income. In emerging countries, luxury goods may account for a small percentage of total income.

Luxury items tend to be traded on international markets, although some luxury goods trade between countries rather than within them. Major global markets for luxury goods include the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe, and Switzerland. Major world export destinations for luxury goods include France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland. Major importations sources for luxury goods include China (products such as pentedades, jade, lacquer, and stone), India, Mexico, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates.