The Demand for Social Interaction
AbstractIn this paper social interaction is modeled as a consumer good. Social interaction may provide an externality in the form of social capital, but the primary reason that individuals engage in social interaction is that these activities directly yield utility. It is important to note that some measures of social interaction show declines while many do not. A model of household production is employed to derive the demand for social interaction. The model shows that the demand for social interaction is a function of its price, the price of other goods and income. The role of children and marriage in social interaction can also be explained in the model. The theory is tested with data from the General Social Survey (GSS) and the results show that social interaction can be explained as the consequence of utility maximizing behavior by individuals. Increases in education generally increase memberships but reduce visiting with relatives and friends. Increases in income generally increase memberships and some forms of visiting. The model predicts 70 percent, or more, of the time trends in social interaction. These results are in contrast to social capital theorists who have focused on the declines in social interaction and who have attributed these changes to factors such as increased community heterogeneity and increased television viewing.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11881.
Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-01-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-MIC-2006-01-01 (Microeconomics)
- NEP-SOC-2006-01-01 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-UPT-2006-01-01 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
- NEP-URE-2006-01-01 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Charles F. Manski, 2000.
"Economic Analysis of Social Interactions,"
NBER Working Papers
7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Becker, Gary S, 1974.
"A Theory of Social Interactions,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
- Michael, Robert T, 1973. "Education in Nonmarket Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 306-27, Part I, M.
- La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997.
"Trust in Large Organizations,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
- Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, December.
- Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
- Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2001. "Understanding the Decline in Social Capital, 1952-1998," NBER Working Papers 8295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Understanding the American Decline in Social Capital, 1952--1998," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 17-46, February.
- Alan B. Krueger & David Schkade, 2007.
"Sorting in the Labor Market: Do Gregarious Workers Flock to Interactive Jobs?,"
NBER Working Papers
13032, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2007. "Sorting in the Labor Market: Do Gregarious Workers Flock to Interactive Jobs?," IZA Discussion Papers 2730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Corman, Hope & Noonan, Kelly & Reichman, Nancy E. & Schultz, Jennifer, 2012. "Effects of financial insecurity on social interactions," The Journal of Socio-Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 574-583.
- Brown, Timothy Tyler, 2009. "Rational praying: The economics of prayer," The Journal of Socio-Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 37-44, January.
- Dhaval Dave & R. Inas Rashad & Jasmina Spasojevic, 2008.
"The Effects of Retirement on Physical and Mental Health Outcomes,"
Southern Economic Journal,
Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 497-523, October.
- Dhaval Dave & Inas Rashad & Jasmina Spasojevic, 2006. "The Effects of Retirement on Physical and Mental Health Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.