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Exploring the Behavior of Economic Agents: the role of relative preferences

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  • Joseph Cavanaugh

    ()
    (Wright State University - LC)

  • Michelle Alexopoulos

    ()
    (University of Toronto)

Abstract

Standard economic theory assumes individuals choose actions that optimize their expected utility. In this paper we investigate how the existence of players with non-standard preferences may influence economic agents' behavior in some of the most frequently studied non-cooperative games. We find that allowing for the existence of agents with relative preferences can help explain observed economic actions which, at times, appear counter-intuitive.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/EB/2006/Volume12/EB-06L20001A.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 1-7

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-06l20001

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  1. Larry Samuelson, 2004. "Information-Based Relative Consumption Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 93-118, 01.
  2. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1988. "Fairness and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 44-49, May.
  3. David Neumark & Andrew Postlewaite, 1995. "Relative Income Concerns and the Rise in Married Women's Employment," NBER Working Papers 5044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
  5. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
  6. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  7. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  8. Otis Duncan, 1975. "Does money buy satisfaction?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 267-274, December.
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Cited by:
  1. A. Mantovani & C. Vergari, 2013. "Hedonic vs Environmental Quality: Which Policy Can Help in Lowering Pollution Emissions?," Working Papers wp906, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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