On the Demand for Expressing Emotions

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.

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