Social Economics Market Behavior in a Social Environment

ISBN-10: 067401121X

ISBN-13: 9780674011212

Edition: 2000

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Description:

Economists assume that people make choices based on their preferences and their budget constraints. The preferences and values of others play no role in the standard economic model. This feature has been sharply criticized by other social scientists, who believe that the choices people make are also conditioned by social and cultural forces. Economists, meanwhile, are not satisfied with standard sociological and anthropological concepts and explanations because they are not embedded in a testable, analytic framework. In this book, Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy provide such a framework by including the social environment along with standard goods and services in their utility functions. These extended utility functions provide a way of analyzing how changes in the social environment affect people's choices and behaviors. More important, they also provide a way of analyzing how the social environment itself is determined by the interactions of individuals. Using this approach, the authors are able to explain many puzzling phenomena, including patterns of drug use, how love affects marriage patterns, neighborhood segregation, the prices of fine art and other collectibles, the social side of trademarks, the rise and fall of fads and fashions, and the distribution of income and status.
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Book details

List price: $34.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 2/28/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

Gary S. Becker (1930-2014) was University Professor at the University of Chicago with a joint appointment in both the economics and sociology departments. He was the author of many books, including Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis and The Economics of Discrimination. He collaborated with Richard Posner on the Becker-Posner Blog, which formed the basis for their book Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism. Becker was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1992 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

Acknowledgments
The Effect of Social Capital on Market Behavior
The Importance of Social Interactions
Social Forces, Preferences, and Complementarity
Are Choices "Rational" When Social Capital Is Important?
The Formation of Social Capital
Sorting by Marriage
Segregation and Integration in Neighborhoods
The Social Market for the Great Masters and Other Collectibles
Social Markets and the Escalation of Quality: The World of Veblen Revisited
Status and Inequality
Fads, Fashions, and Norms
Fads and Fashion
The Formation of Norms and Values
References
Author Index
Subject Index
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