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Interdependent preferences and segregating equilibria

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  • Cabrales, Antonio
  • Calvó-Armengol, Antoni

Abstract

This paper shows that models where preferences of individuals depend not only on their allocations, but also on the well being of other persons, can produce both large and testable effects. We study the allocation of workers with heterogeneous productivities to firms. We show that even small deviations from purely "selfish" preferences leads to widespread workplace skill segregation. That is, workers of different abilities tend to work in different firms, as long as they care somewhat more about the utilities of workers who are "close". This result holds for a broad class and distribution of social preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Cabrales, Antonio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni, 2008. "Interdependent preferences and segregating equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 99-113, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:139:y:2008:i:1:p:99-113
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    Cited by:

    1. Choi, Kangsik, 2016. "A Note On Envy And Earnings Inequality Under Limited Liability Contracts," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 57(1), pages 91-109, June.
    2. Antonio Cabrales & Raffaele Miniaci & Marco Piovesan & Giovanni Ponti, 2010. "Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2261-2278, December.
    3. Bierbrauer, Felix & Netzer, Nick, 2016. "Mechanism design and intentions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 557-603.
    4. Dominik Erharter, 2013. "Screening Experts' Distributional Preferences," Working Papers 2013-27, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    5. Dominik Erharter, 2012. "Credence goods markets, distributional preferences and the role of institutions," Working Papers 2012-11, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    6. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Inequity Aversion and Self-Selection between Incentive Contracts," Post-Print halshs-00303727, HAL.
    7. Sabrina Teyssier, 2007. "Optimal Group Incentives with Social Preferences and Self-Selection," Post-Print halshs-00144901, HAL.
    8. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Les Modes de Rémunération comme MécanismesSélectifs de la Main d'oeuvre : Fondements Théoriques et Estimations Empiriques," Post-Print halshs-00303703, HAL.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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