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Co-monotonicity: Toward a utility function capturing envy


  • Levy, Moshe


Envy affects economic decisions, and can lead to monotonicity violation. We introduce co-monotonicity—a generalization of monotonicity, expected to hold even in the presence of envy. Experimental results and implications for the form of possible utility functions are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Levy, Moshe, 2012. "Co-monotonicity: Toward a utility function capturing envy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 16-19.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:114:y:2012:i:1:p:16-19 DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2011.09.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869.
    2. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    3. Klaus Abbink & Benedikt Herrmann, 2011. "The Moral Costs Of Nastiness," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 631-633, April.
    4. Carter, John R. & McAloon, Shannon A., 1996. "A test for comparative income effects in an ultimatum bargaining experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 369-380, December.
    5. Abbink, Klaus & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim, 2009. "The pleasure of being nasty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 306-308, December.
    6. Mui, Vai-Lam, 1995. "The economics of envy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 311-336, May.
    7. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
    8. Zizzo, Daniel John, 2003. "Money burning and rank egalitarianism with random dictators," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 263-266, November.
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    More about this item


    Envy; Competitive preferences; Keeping up with the Joneses; Monotonicity; First order Stochastic Dominance;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles


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