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A Theory of Social Interactions

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  • Becker, Gary S

Abstract

This essay incorporates a general treatment of social interactions into the modern theory of consumer demand. Section 1 introduces the topic and explores some of the existing perspectives on social interactions and their importance in the basic structure of wants. In Section 2, various characteristics of different persons are assumed to affect the utility functions of some persons, and the behavioral implications are systematically explored. Section 3 develops further implications and applications in the context of analyzing intra-family relations, charitable behavior, merit goods and multi-persons interactions, and envy and hatred. The variety and significance of these applications is persuasive testimony not only to the importance of social interactions, but also to the feasibility of incorporating them into a rigorous analysis.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 82 (1974)
Issue (Month): 6 (Nov.-Dec.)
Pages: 1063-93

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:82:y:1974:i:6:p:1063-93

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  1. Peltzman, Sam, 1973. "The Effect of Government Subsidies-in-Kind on Private Expenditures: The Case of Higher Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(1), pages 1-27, Jan.-Feb..
  2. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-48, July-Aug..
  3. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  4. Schwartz, Robert A, 1970. "Personal Philanthropic Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 1264-91, Nov.-Dec..
  5. De Tray, Dennis N, 1973. "Child Quality and the Demand for Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S70-95, Part II, .
  6. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
  7. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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