On the Demand for Expressing Emotions

R&R from AER 2014

People communicate in economic interactions either aiming to alter material outcomes or because they derive direct satisfaction from expressing. We focus on the latter non-instrumental motivation and find that this less researched aspect of expression has important economic implications. In particular, we experimentally study ex-post verbal expression in a modified Power-to-Take game and document people’s willingness to pay for this kind of expression possibility. Our experiment contributes to previous studies discussing the role of mood-emotional states. We find that purely expressive as well as reciprocal motives are both non-trivial components of the valuation for non-instrumental expression. We demonstrate that expression possibilities have important impacts on welfare beyond what our standard economic view predicts.

R&R from AER

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Recommended citation: Grosskopf, B. and López-Vargas, K. (2014). “On the Demand for Expressing Emotions.”