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Relational goods, private consumption and social poverty traps in an evolutionary game


  • Antoci, Angelo

    () (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)

  • Russu, Paolo

    () (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)

  • Vanin, Paolo

    () (Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit)


We investigate how the patterns of consumption and accumulation, as well as the patterns of time allocation and of social interaction, may be influenced by social pressure, i.e., by the choices of others. We display an evolutionary model involving several generations of interacting individuals,in which different patterns may coexist in equilibrium and in which path dependence and critical mass effects play an important role. Bomze's (1983) classification is used to study the properties of this game. We find that social pressure may lead to low welfare traps' with overwork and overconsumption, and that policy may have a role as a coordination device

Suggested Citation

  • Antoci, Angelo & Russu, Paolo & Vanin, Paolo, 2005. "Relational goods, private consumption and social poverty traps in an evolutionary game," AICCON Working Papers 25-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:aiccon:2005_025

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    2. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
    3. Antoci, Angelo & Sacco, Pier Luigi & Vanin, Paolo, 2007. "Social capital accumulation and the evolution of social participation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 128-143, February.
    4. Carole Uhlaner, 1989. "“Relational goods” and participation: Incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 253-285, September.
    5. Schiff, Maurice, 2002. "Love thy neighbor: trade, migration, and social capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 87-107, March.
    6. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2001. "Understanding the Decline in Social Capital, 1952-1998," NBER Working Papers 8295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Angelo Antoci & Stefano Bartolini, 1997. "Externalities and Growth in an Evolutionary Game," Department of Economics Working Papers 9710, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
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    More about this item


    Social interaction; Relational goods; Coordination failure;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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