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Social Decision Theory: Choosing within and between Groups

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  • Fabio Maccheroni
  • Massimo Marinacci
  • Aldo Rustichini

Abstract

We introduce a theoretical framework in which to study interdependent preferences, where the outcome of others affects the preferences of the decision maker. The dependence may take place in two conceptually different ways, depending on how the decision maker evaluates what the others have. In the first he values his outcome and that of others on the basis of his own utility. In the second, he ranks outcomes according to a social value function. These two different views of the interdependence have separate axiomatic foundations. We then characterize preferences according to the relative importance assigned to social gains and losses, or in other words to pride and envy. Finally, we study a two period economy in which agents have our social preferences. We show how envy leads to conformism in consumption behavior and pride to diversity.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2008. "Social Decision Theory: Choosing within and between Groups," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 71, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:71
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    Cited by:

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    2. Joel Sobel, 2009. "Generous actors, selfish actions: markets with other-regarding preferences," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 56(1), pages 3-16, March.
    3. Martin Dufwenberg & Paul Heidhues & Georg Kirchsteiger & Frank Riedel & Joel Sobel, 2011. "Other-Regarding Preferences in General Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 613-639.
    4. Amrei Lahno & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2015. "Peer effects in risk taking: Envy or conformity?," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 73-95, February.
    5. Kircher, Philipp & Sandroni, Alvaro & Ludwig, Sandra, 2009. "Fairness: A Critique to the Utilitarian Approach," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 288, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    6. Polonio, Luca & Di Guida, Sibilla & Coricelli, Giorgio, 2015. "Strategic sophistication and attention in games: An eye-tracking study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 80-96.
    7. repec:kap:theord:v:82:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11238-016-9578-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Burnham, Terence C., 2013. "Toward a neo-Darwinian synthesis of neoclassical and behavioral economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 90(S), pages 113-127.
    9. Bucciol, Alessandro & Cavasso, Barbara & Zarri, Luca, 2015. "Social status and personality traits," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 245-260.
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    11. Lahno, Amrei M. & Serra-Garcia, Marta, 2012. "Peer Effects in Risk Taking," Discussion Papers in Economics 14309, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    12. Jan-Dirk Schmöcker & Tsuyoshi Hatori & David Watling, 2014. "Dynamic process model of mass effects on travel demand," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 279-304, March.
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    15. Astrid Gamba & Elena Manzoni & Luca Stanca, 2017. "Social comparison and risk taking behavior," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 221-248.
    16. Amrei M. Lahno & Marta Serra-Garcia, 2012. "Peer Effects in Risk Taking," CESifo Working Paper Series 4057, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Fabio Maccheroni Jr. & Massimo Marinacci Jr. & Aldo Rustichini Jr., 2014. "Pride and Diversity in Social Economies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 237-271, November.
    18. Müller, Stephan & Rau, Holger A., 2017. "Decisions under uncertainty in social contexts," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 290, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    19. Zhang, W.-B., 2014. "Ethnic Human Capital Externalities and Inequality in a General Equilibrium Growth Model," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 33-54.

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    Keywords

    Social preferences; social economics.;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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