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Preferences over Consumption and Status


  • Vostroknutov, Alexander


In many models of interdependent preferences the payoffs have not only personal value but also enter the social part of the utility. This duality creates a problem of distinguishing what influences the choice more: consumption or social concerns. To identify what drives the behavior it is necessary to have a model of preferences that allows for unambiguous separation of personal and social components. I use the preferences for consumption and status as an example to show that the axioms in the paper describe the preferences that have unique expected utility representation with consumption and social utilities entering additively. This makes it possible to experimentally determine the nature of social preferences without ad hoc assumptions and to estimate whether consumption or social value is more important in economic decisions.

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  • Vostroknutov, Alexander, 2007. "Preferences over Consumption and Status," MPRA Paper 2594, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2594

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. Efe A. Ok & Levent Koƚkesen, 2000. "Negatively interdependent preferences," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 17(3), pages 533-558.
    3. David K. Levine, 1998. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(3), pages 593-622, July.
    4. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
    5. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
    6. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Cooperation in Public-Goods Experiments: Kindness or Confusion?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 891-904, September.
    7. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Zauner, Klaus G., 2001. "Ultimatum Bargaining Behavior in Israel, Japan, Slovenia, and the United States: A Social Utility Analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 238-269, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Tian, Guoqiang & Yang, Liyan, 2005. "How are Income and Non-Income Factors Different in Promoting Happiness? An Answer to the Easterlin Paradox," MPRA Paper 41209, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2010.
    4. Jay Simon, 2016. "On the existence of altruistic value and utility functions," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 371-391, September.

    More about this item


    Interdependent preferences; status; subjective probability;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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