Discusses the concept of “relational goods”, defined as intangible capital assets that inhere in enduring interpersonal relationships and provide both intrinsic and instrumental benefits. They are local public goods that are formed or maintained through non‐contractible, co‐ordinated actions. Presents a simple model of investment in exogenously formed two‐person relationships and discusses the model under different assumptions as to agents’ homogeneity, pair formation and type observability. Discusses the possibility of endogenous type change and interprets it in terms of the evolution of cultural attitudes towards such a peculiar and fragile asset, as are relationships.
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 1996
Keywords: Economics; Interpersonal communications; Investment; Labour mobility
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