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Social Distance and Social Decisions

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  • George A. Akerlof

Abstract

A model of social distance is presented that is useful for understanding social decisions. An example is constructed of class stability. Agents who are initially close interact strongly while those who are socially distant have little interaction. In this example, inherited social position, which may be interpreted as social class, plays a dominant role. The relevance of this model to social decisions, such as the choice of educational attainment and childbearing, is discussed in the context of specific ethnographic examples. Class position may play a dominant role in these decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:65:y:1997:i:5:p:1005-1028
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    References listed on IDEAS

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