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A Theory of Social Interactions

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  • Gary S. Becker

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

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0042.

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Date of creation: Jun 1974
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0042

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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. Schwartz, Robert A, 1970. "Personal Philanthropic Contributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(6), pages 1264-91, Nov.-Dec..
  3. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. 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..
  6. 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, .
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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