Economists generally accept as a given the old adage that there is no accounting for tastes. The author of this text disagrees, and confronts the problem of preferences and values: how they are formed and how they affect our behaviour. He argues that past experiences and social influences form two basic capital stocks: personal and social. He then applies these concepts to assessing the effects of advertising, the power of peer pressure, the nature of addiction, and the function of habits. This method illuminates many other realms of social life previously considered off-limits by economists.
Gary S. Becker is University Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago. In 1992, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Part I: Personal Capital *1. Preferences and Values *De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum * A Theory of Rational Addiction * Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption * An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction * Habits, Addictions, and Traditions Part 2: Social Capital * The Economic Way of Looking at Life * A Theory of Social Interactions * A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price * A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad * Norms and the Formation of Preferences * Spouses and Beggars: Love and Sympathy * Acknowledgments * References * Index
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- ID: 9780674543577
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