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The Affectionate Society: Does Competition for Partners Promote Friendliness?

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  • Gersbach, Hans
  • Haller, Hans

Abstract

We study household formation in a model where collective consumption decisions of a household depend on the strategic choices of its members. The surplus of households is determined by individual choices of levels of friendliness to each other. A strategic conflict arises from a coupling condition that ceteris paribus, a person's friendlier attitude reduces the individual's influence in the household's collective decision on how to divide the ensuing surplus. While partners in an isolated household choose the minimum level of friendliness, competition for partners tends to promote friendliness. We find that affluence does not buy affection, but can lead to withholding of affection by an affluent partner who can afford to do so. In general, the equilibrium degree of friendliness proves sensitive to the socio-economic composition of the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Gersbach, Hans & Haller, Hans, 2005. "The Affectionate Society: Does Competition for Partners Promote Friendliness?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5030, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cubel, María & Sanchez-Pages, Santiago, 2016. "An axiomatization of difference-form contest success functions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 92-105.
    2. Gersbach, Hans & Haller, Hans, 2010. "Club theory and household formation," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 715-724, September.
    3. Hans Gersbach & Hans Haller, 2009. "The affectionate society: does competition for partners promote friendliness?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(3), pages 389-403, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    collective decisions; competition for partners; coupling condition; friendliness; socio-economic composition;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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