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Group Consumption with Caring Individuals

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  • Laurens Cherchye
  • Sam Cosaert
  • Thomas Demuynck
  • Bram De Rock

Abstract

We propose a novel approach to model joint consumption decisions of individuals who care for each other. We assume noncooperative interaction between the different individuals and the within-group consumption outcome critically depends on the degree of caring between the group members. By varying the degree of caring, the model encompasses a whole continuum of group consumption models that are situated between the fully cooperative model (assuming a Pareto optimal outcome) and the noncooperative model without caring (assuming a public good game with voluntary contributions). This feature is used to define a measure for the degree of cooperation within the group, which quantifies how close the observed group behavior is to the fully cooperative benchmark. We also establish a dual characterization of our noncooperative model with caring preferences: we show that the model is dually equivalent to a noncooperative model with non-caring preferences that is characterized by intra-group transfers. Following a revealed preference approach, we derive testable implications of the model for empirical data. Finally, we also use our model to analyze decisions made by dyads of children in an experimental setting. We find considerable heterogeneity in the degree of caring (or cooperation) across dyads, which correlates with assertiveness and the degree of interaction within dyads.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurens Cherchye & Sam Cosaert & Thomas Demuynck & Bram De Rock, 2017. "Group Consumption with Caring Individuals," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-45, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/261074
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    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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