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Social Identity Strategies in Recent Economics

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  • John B. Davis

    () (Faculty of Economics and Econometrics, University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper reviews three distinct strategies in recent economics for using the concept of social identity in the explanation of individual behavior: Akerlof and Kranton’s neoclassical approach, Sen’s commitment approach, and Kirman et al.’s complexity approach. The primary focus is the multiple selves problem and the difficulties associated with failing to explain social identity and personal identity together. The argument of the paper is that too narrow a scope for reflexivity in individual decision-making renders the problem intractable, but that enlarging this scope makes it possible to explain personal and social identity together in connection with an individual behavior termed comparative value-objective evaluation. The paper concludes with recommendations for treating the individual objective function as a production function.

Suggested Citation

  • John B. Davis, 2005. "Social Identity Strategies in Recent Economics," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-078/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20050078
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John B. Davis, 2007. "Akerlof and Kranton on identity in economics: inverting the analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 349-362, May.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
    4. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Naseer, Shaheen & Heine, Klaus, 2017. "Bureaucratic Identity and the Shape of Public Policy: A Game Theoretic Analysis," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168144, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Virgile Chassagnon, 2008. "Qu'est-ce qu'une firme (-réseau) ?," Post-Print halshs-00374758, HAL.
    3. Virgile Chassagnon, 2011. "The Network Firm as a Single Real Entity: Beyond the Aggregate of Distinct Legal Entities," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 113-136.
    4. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Branas-Garza & Maria Paz Espinosa & Luis Miller, 2010. "Personal identity: a theoretical and experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 261-275.
    5. John Smith, 2012. "Reputation, Social Identity and Social Conflict," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(4), pages 677-709, August.
    6. Thomas Jeitschko & Seamus O'Connell & Rowena Pecchenino, 2008. "Generalised Means of Simple Utility Functions with Risk Aversion," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 39(1), pages 39-54.
    7. Heather Brown & Jennifer Roberts, 2014. "Gender Role Identity, Breadwinner Status and Psychological Well-being in the Household," Working Papers 2014004, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    8. Virgile Chassagnon, 2012. "Pouvoir et coopération dans la firme et entre les firmes," Post-Print halshs-00818301, HAL.
    9. Gruszka, Katarzyna & Scharbert, Annika Regine & Soder, Michael, 2016. "Changing the world one student at a time? Uncovering subjective understandings of economics instructors' roles," Ecological Economic Papers 4794, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    10. Lombardini-Riipinen, Chiara & Lankoski, Leena, 2010. "Take off the heater: Utility effect and food environment effect in food consumption decisions," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116431, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Pecchenino, Rowena A., 2009. "Becoming: Identity and spirituality," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 31-36, January.
    12. Katarzyna Gruszka & Annika Scharbert & Michael Soder, 2016. "Changing the world one student at a time? Uncovering subjective understandings of economics instructors' roles," Ecological Economics Papers ieep7, Institute of Ecological Economics.
    13. Wen-Chun Chang, 2013. "Climbing up the Social Ladders: Identity, Relative Income, and Subjective Well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 513-535, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    identity; personal identity; reflexivity; individual objective function;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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