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Symbolic inputs : positional, reference and publicity goods


  • Elias L. Khalil

    (Department of Economics, Ohio State University, USA)


Symbolic value differs from intrinsic value. This paper focuses on symbolic inputs, which make up the production function, and ignores symbolic products (e.g., status, prestige), which constitute the utility function. Symbolic inputs are occasioned by incomplete information. There are three kinds of symbolic inputs, following three kinds of incomplete information. »Positional symbolic inputs» minimize search cost necessitated by local information. »Reference symbolic inputs» reduce inspection cost occasioned by asymmetric information. »Publicity symbolic inputs» lessen haggling cost prompted by private information. The paper evaluates the effectiveness of symbolic inputs in light of the difference between efficiency and productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Elias L. Khalil, 1997. "Symbolic inputs : positional, reference and publicity goods," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 20-34, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:fep:journl:v:10:y:1997:i:1:p:20-34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kornai, J, 1979. "Resource-Constrained versus Demand-Constrained Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 801-819, July.
    2. Tollison, Robert D, 1982. "Rent Seeking: A Survey," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 575-602.
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    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General


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