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On the economics of others

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  • Stark, Oded

Abstract

We relate to others in two important ways: we care about others, and we care about how we fare in comparison to others. In some contexts, these two forms of relatedness interact. Caring about others can conveniently be labeled altruism. Caring about how we fare in comparison with others who fare better than ourselves can conveniently be labeled relative deprivation. I provide examples of domains in which the incorporation of altruism and relative deprivation can point to novel perspectives and suggest rethinking, and possibly revising, long-held views. And I show that there are domains in which consideration of relative deprivation can substitute for the prevalence of altruism, and vice versa. I conclude that this is a fascinating sphere for research on economics and social behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Stark, Oded, 2014. "On the economics of others," Discussion Papers 164965, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:164965
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/164965
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oded Stark, 2009. "Reasons for Remitting," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 10(3), pages 147-158, July.
    2. Stark, Oded, 1989. "Altruism and the Quality of Life," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 86-90, May.
    3. Stark, Oded & Zhang, Junsen, 2002. "Counter-compensatory inter-vivos transfers and parental altruism: compatibility or orthogonality?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 19-25.
    4. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Stark, Oded, 1993. "How Altruism Can Prevail in an Evolutionary Environment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 149-155.
    5. Bernheim, B Douglas & Stark, Oded, 1988. "Altruism within the Family Reconsidered: Do Nice Guys Finish Last?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1034-1045, December.
    6. Stark, Oded, 1993. "Nonmarket transfers and altruism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1413-1424, October.
    7. C. Simon Fan & Oded Stark, 2007. "A Social Proximity Explanation of the Reluctance to Assimilate," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 55-63, February.
    8. Stark, Oded & Dorn, Agnieszka, 2013. "Do family ties with those left behind intensify or weaken migrants’ assimilation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 1-5.
    9. Sorger, Gerhard & Stark, Oded, 2013. "Income redistribution going awry: The reversal power of the concern for relative deprivation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1-9.
    10. Lucas, Robert E B & Stark, Oded, 1985. "Motivations to Remit: Evidence from Botswana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(5), pages 901-918, October.
    11. Stark, Oded & Kobus, Martyna & Jakubek, Marcin, 2012. "A concern about low relative income, and the alignment of utilitarianism with egalitarianism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 114(3), pages 235-238.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alice Mesnard, 2004. "Temporary migration and capital market imperfections," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 242-262, April.
    2. Bellemare, Charles, 2007. "A life-cycle model of outmigration and economic assimilation of immigrants in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 553-576, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; Relative deprivation; Economic and social behavior; Consumer/Household Economics; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; International Development; D01; D03; D13; D31; D63; D64; F22; F24; J61; O15;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • F24 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Remittances
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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