'Out of Sight, Out of Mind': Modern Economics, Social Interactions, and Smith’s Sympathy

28 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2012

See all articles by Andrés Álvarez

Andrés Álvarez

Universidad de los Andes - Department of Economics

Jimena Hurtado

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 27, 2012

Abstract

After having reviewed some of the recent advances in Economics trying to incorporate new elements in our understanding of human interactions, we aim at contributing to this line of research using Adam Smith’s system of sympathy. The features Smith attributes to the inter subjective identification mechanism of sympathy lead not only to conceive the construction of a community but also the possibility of exclusion of some of its members. The asymmetry of sympathy allows explaining emulation of those seen as more fortunate as well as the exclusion of those perceived as miserable. Through a formal representation we try to illustrate the phenomena of inclusion and exclusion present in intersubjetive relations and the construction of communities.

Keywords: Adam Smith, sympathy, emulation, exclusion

JEL Classification: B12, B31, D03

Suggested Citation

Alvarez, Andres and Hurtado, Jimena, 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind': Modern Economics, Social Interactions, and Smith’s Sympathy (January 27, 2012). Documento CEDE No. 2012-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2008418 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2008418

Andres Alvarez (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes - Department of Economics ( email )

Calle 19A No. 1-37 Este
Bloque W, oficina W-816.
Bogota, D. C. 110311
Colombia
+57 1 3394949 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://economia.uniandes.edu.co/alvarez

Jimena Hurtado

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

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