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Negatively Interdependent Preferences

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  • Kockesen, Levent
  • Ok, Efe A.

Abstract

We develop a theory of representation of interdependent preferences that reflect the widely acknowledged phenomenon of keeping up with the Joneses (i.e. of those preferences which maintain that well-being depend on "relative standing" in the society as well as on material consumption). The principal ingredient of our analysis is the assumption that individuals desire to occupy a (subjectively) better position than their peers. This is quite a primitive starting point in that it does not give any reference to what is actually regarded as "status" in the society. We call this basic postulate negative interdependence, and study its implications. In particular, combining this assumption with some other basic postulates that are widely used in a number of other branches of the theory of individual choice, we axiomatize the relative income hypothesis, and obtain an operational representation of interdependent preferences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University in its series Working Papers with number 97-02.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:97-02

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Postal: C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-8936
Fax: (212) 995-3932
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Web page: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/object/econ.cvstarr.html
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Postal: C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012
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Related research

Keywords: Interdependent Preferences; relative income; status;

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