Status-seekers have begun skipping the grandeur and opting instead for minimalist lifestyles, says Harvard Business School behavioral economist Michael Norton. He joined Boston Public Radio to talk about minimalism as a status symbol and to take calls from our listeners.

“It used to be the case that excess was how you showed that you were wealthy and high status," Norton said. "In the last 25 years, but really in particular the last five to 10 years, there's been this huge shift in the aesthetic from ornate to really, really simple as a way to show that you're really, really wealthy. By doing that it's as though you're above consumerism and you're a higher status person."

Michael Norton is the Harold M. Brierley professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. His Latest book is "Happy Money, The Science of Smarter Spending." He’s also co-host of the podcast "Talking Green," which explores the psychological forces that drive attitudes and decisions around money and investing.