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Empirical evidence on interdependent preferences: nature or nurture?


  • Daniel John Zizzo


This paper discusses empirical evidence for interdependent preferences from the point of view of the neurosciences, of heritability studies, and of cross-cultural and developmental psychology: it shows how interdependent preferences are determined to a significant degree by environmental factors. This result has meaningful implications for economic theory, policy and experimentation. A theory of interdependent preferences should also be a theory of their endogenous determination. Normative analyses ignore the endogeneity of interdependent preferences at their own peril. Caution is required in experimental analyses attempting to measure the distribution of interdependent preferences in the population. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel John Zizzo, 2003. "Empirical evidence on interdependent preferences: nature or nurture?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(6), pages 867-880, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:27:y:2003:i:6:p:867-880

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Joan Costa-Font & Frank Cowell, 2015. "Social Identity And Redistributive Preferences: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 357-374, April.
    2. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Appeasing nihilists? Some economic thoughts on reducing terrorist activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 301-313, December.
    3. Peter Earl & Jason Potts, 2013. "The creative instability hypothesis," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 37(2), pages 153-173, May.
    4. Sahan T. M. Dissanayake & Amy W. Ando, 2014. "Valuing Grassland Restoration: Proximity to Substitutes and Trade-offs among Conservation Attributes," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 90(2), pages 237-259.
    5. Camerer, Colin F. & Ho, Teck-Hua, 2015. "Behavioral Game Theory Experiments and Modeling," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, Elsevier.
    6. Wolfgang Fellner & Benedikt Goehmann, 2017. "Human Needs and the Measurement of Welfare," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2017_07, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    7. Tan, Jonathan H.W. & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2008. "Groups, cooperation and conflict in games," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-17, February.
    8. Ramalingam, Abhijit, 2009. ""Endogenous" Relative Concerns: The Impact of Workers' Characteristics on Status and Pro ts in the Firm," MPRA Paper 18759, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Manner, Mikko & Gowdy, John, 2010. "The evolution of social and moral behavior: Evolutionary insights for public policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 753-761, February.
    10. Fellner, Wolfgang & Goehmann, Benedikt, 2017. "Human Needs and the Measurement of Welfare," SRE-Discussion Papers 5671, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    11. Woźny, Łukasz & Garbicz, Marek, 2005. "Taxes and labour supply under interdependent preferences," MPRA Paper 462, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2005.

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