The Affectionate Society: Does Competition for Partners Promote Friendliness?

U of Heidelberg, Economics Discussion Paper No. 375

30 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2002

See all articles by Hans Gersbach

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Hans H. Haller

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Economics

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Date Written: June 11, 2002

Abstract

We study household formation in a model where collective consumption decisions of a household depend on the strategic choices of its members. The surplus of households is determined by individual choices of levels of friendliness to each other. A strategic conflict arises from a coupling condition that ceteris paribus, a person's friendlier attitude reduces the individual's influence in the household's collective decision on how to divide the ensuing surplus. While partners in an isolated household choose the minimum level of friendliness, competition for partners tends to promote friendliness. We find that affluence does not buy affection, but can lead to withholding of affection by an affluent partner who can afford to do so. In general, the equilibrium degree of friendliness proves sensitive to the socio-economic composition of the population.

Suggested Citation

Gersbach, Hans and Haller, Hans H., The Affectionate Society: Does Competition for Partners Promote Friendliness? (June 11, 2002). U of Heidelberg, Economics Discussion Paper No. 375. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=319221 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.319221

Hans Gersbach (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Hans H. Haller

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States
540-231-7591 (Phone)
540-231-5097 (Fax)

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