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Habits, Addictions, and Traditions


  • Gary S. Becker


The past casts a long shadow on the present through its influence on the formation of present preferences. The past influences present preferences through habitual, addictive, and traditional behavior, and in other ways. These have profound implications for the analysis of economic and social phenomena, including short and long run changes in the amount of smoking due to higher taxes on a pack of cigarettes, and the effects of taxes on effort and work habits in the long run. The link between the past and present choice may also explain why and how parents influence the formation of children's preferences, and the formation and support of institutions and culture. Copyright 1992 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG
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(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
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Suggested Citation

  • Gary S. Becker, 1991. "Habits, Addictions, and Traditions," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 71, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:chices:71

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. McGarry, K & Schoeni, R-F, 1996. "Measurement and the Redistribution of Resources Within the Family," Papers 96-11, RAND - Reprint Series.
    9. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
    10. Posner, Richard A., 1995. "Aging and Old Age," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226675664.
    11. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989. "What Determines Savings?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262611872, January.
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