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Nosy Preferences, Benevolence, and Efficiency


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  • Chetan Dave

    (New York University (Abu Dhabi), Department of Economics, 19 W 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012, USA)


    (University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics, 515 Portage Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9 Canada)


We explore the implications of “nosy” preferences—when individuals have rankings over the specific actions of others—using recent theoretical results in the behavioral economics literature. Our model jointly captures preference interdependence over utilities (benevolence) and actions (nosiness). We apply the model to two well-known environments. The first is a classic social choice problem; the second is a model of relative consumption concerns. For the former we characterize the existence of the impossibility once the social choice problem has been modeled as a behavioral game. For the latter we characterize when the negative externality arising from relative consumption concerns can be overcome without a policy intervention.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 78 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (January)
Pages: 878-894

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:78:3:y:2012:p:878-894

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