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Social Assets

  • George J. Mailath
  • Andrew Postlewaite

We present a model incorporating both social and economic components and analyze their interaction. The notion of a "social asset", an attribute that has value only because of the social institutions governing society, is introduced. In the basic model, agents match on the basis of income and unproductive attributes. An attribute has value in some equilibrium social institutions (matching patterns), but not in others. We then show that productive attributes (such as education) can have their value increased above their inherent productive value by some social institutions, leading to the notion of the "social value of an asset". Copyright 2006 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 47 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1057-1091

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:47:y:2006:i:4:p:1057-1091
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  1. George J. Mailath & Andrew Postlewaite, 2003. "The Social Context of Economic Decisions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 354-362, 04/05.
  2. Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996. "Money is memory," Staff Report 218, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1995. "Social Norms and Random Matching Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 79-109, April.
  4. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
  5. Guido Cozzi, 1998. "Culture as a Bubble," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 376-394, April.
  6. Hanming Fang, 2001. "Social Culture and Economic Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 924-937, September.
  7. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80, January.
  8. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  9. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1998. "Social organization, status, and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 37-51, October.
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