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The affectionate society: does competition for partners promote friendliness?

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  • Hans Gersbach

    ()

  • Hans Haller

    ()

Abstract

We study household formation in a model where collective consumption decisions of a household depend on the strategic choices of its members. The surplus of households is determined by individual choices of levels of friendliness to each other. A strategic conflict arises from a coupling condition that ceteris paribus, a person's friendlier attitude reduces the individual's influence in the household's collective decision on how to divide the ensuing surplus. While partners in an isolated household choose the minimum level of friendliness, competition for partners tends to promote friendliness. We find that affluence does not buy affection, but can lead to withholding of affection by an affluent partner who can afford to do so. In general, the equilibrium degree of friendliness proves sensitive to the socio-economic composition of the population.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 40 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 389-403

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:40:y:2009:i:3:p:389-403

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Related research

Keywords: Friendliness; Social equilibrium model; Household formation; Coupling condition; Competition for partners; C70; D70;

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References

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  1. Che, Yeon-Koo & Gale, Ian, 2000. "Difference-Form Contests and the Robustness of All-Pay Auctions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 22-43, January.
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  9. Basu, Kaushik, 1998. "Child labor : cause, consequence, and cure, with remarks on International Labor Standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2027, The World Bank.
  10. Hans Gersbach & Hans Haller, 2009. "The affectionate society: does competition for partners promote friendliness?," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 389-403, September.
  11. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
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  15. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-49, June.
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  17. Bennett, Elaine, 1988. "Consistent bargaining conjectures in marriage and matching," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 392-407, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Gersbach, Hans & Haller, Hans, 2005. "The Affectionate Society: Does Competition for Partners Promote Friendliness?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5030, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Gersbach, Hans & Haller, Hans, 2010. "Club theory and household formation," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 715-724, September.

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