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Theory of values

Georgiadis, Andreas and Manning, Alan (2009) Theory of values. CEP Discussion Paper, No. 943. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Economists have a well-developed theory of value but the theory of why people hold the values they do is rudimentary at best. In spite of the fact that it is common to argue that values are important, most work on values is normative and the positive theory of values is relatively under- developed. In this paper we propose a simple yet general way to think about values – they are about how one trades-off one own’s utility against that of others – and argue that we can draw on the large literature on pro-social behavior for hypotheses on how people will choose values. Then, using data from the UK’s Citizenship Survey we show how models of self-interest, fairness, reciprocity and identity, can explain many of the patterns that we observe in the data across a wide variety of values.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2009 The authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: No. 943
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2010 14:53
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28613/

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