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Tastes for Desert and Placation: A Reference Point-Dependent Model of Social Preferences

Chen, Daniel L. (2016) Tastes for Desert and Placation: A Reference Point-Dependent Model of Social Preferences. IAST working paper, n. 16-60, Toulouse

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This paper proposes a reference-point dependent model of social behavior where individuals maximize a three-term utility function: a consumption utility term and two “social” terms. One social term captures a preference for desert (i.e., others getting what we think they deserve) and the other term a preference for the satisfaction of other’s expectations, or to placate them (i.e., them getting what we think they think they deserve). After motivating the modeling assumptions with findings from empirical moral philosophy and evolutionary psychology, I introduce the model and generate some simple comparative statics results, which I then test with experiments. I discuss how the model explains several paradoxes of empirical moral philosophy that are less explicable by current economic models of social preference focusing on outcomes and intentions.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Language: English
Date: October 2016
Place of Publication: Toulouse
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reference points, social preferences, just desert
JEL Classification: D6 - Welfare Economics
K2 - Regulation and Business Law
Divisions: TSE-R (Toulouse)
Institution: Université Toulouse Capitole
Site: UT1
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 10:36
Last Modified: 23 May 2019 12:19
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