ECN 340 Lecture Notes - Demand Curve
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Chapter 8: Exploitation of Affections
- In a loving relationship, one person is concerned about the welfare of the other
- Each person in the relationship is both donor of gifts and a recipient
- Each person realizes there is an unwritten social contract between the two: try to make the
other person happy
The Affection Model
- Donor of a gift receives pleasure from giving to the recipient – the less expensive gift the more
often he/she will give – recall the downward sloping demand curve
- Gifts can be in the form of money, a box of candy, simply listening to the other person, or
providing a sexual experience
- Gifts are given until MC = MB
- But there is a possibility of exploitation!
- The recipient can subtly say, give me this amount or I will take nothing (deny you the pleasure of
seeing me happy)!
- If the recipient asks for “too much”, the donor may be better off giving nothing
- The ability to extract a larger quantity from the donor depends on the number of alternative
recipients for the gift
- The exploitation of the donor will occur only to the extent that the recipient is unconcerned
about the welfare of the donor
- If the recipient cares, then any reduction in the donor’s welfare will be a reduction in the
recipient’s welfare (“Your happiness is my happiness”, and vice versa)
- Defn: my happiness depends on the happiness of the person I love
- If I care about my wife, she can make me do things for I ordinarily would not do
- But if she asks for too much, I can drop her even if I still love her!
- “Women’s Liberation Movement” has in effect made it less likely for them to be exploited – ask
for too much and she “walks”
Sexual Exploitation: forced to give more than you are willing to give
- An individual would like to give sex to his/her partner, but only up to a point
- Some may try to exploit the partner by asking “more” – if you love me you will go ALL THE WAY
- If the man is one of many possible dates, the female may simply refuse and go on to the next
- A male/female will get “more” of they are “the only one”
- On a first date, male realizes he is one of many so he behaves
- If he becomes “the only one” he can then ask for more
- Remember that females can exploit males for their own end: “if you don’t go all the way you
can’t have anything”!
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