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Tastes, castes, and culture : the influence of society on preferences

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  • Fehr, Ernst
  • Hoff, Karla

Abstract

Economists have traditionally treated preferences as exogenously given. Preferences are assumed to be influenced by neither beliefs nor the constraints people face. As a consequence, changes in behaviour are explained exclusively in terms of changes in the set of feasible alternatives. Here the authors argue that the opposition to explaining behavioural changes in terms of preference changes is ill-founded, that the psychological properties of preferences render them susceptible to direct social influences, and that the impact of"society"on preferences is likely to have important economic and social consequences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5760.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5760

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Keywords: Biodiversity; Labor Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Cultural Policy; Gender and Social Development;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2013. "Culture, Entrepreneurship, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 19141, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel, 2013. "Gambling to Leapfrog in Status?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4174, CESifo Group Munich.

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