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Economies, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2014), Pages 147-192

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Research

Open AccessArticle Household Debt and Consumption Inequality: The Spanish Case
Economies 2014, 2(3), 147-170; doi:10.3390/economies2030147
Received: 29 November 2013 / Revised: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 9 July 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
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Abstract
The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, we attempt to find out whether Spanish households took part in a process of substituting loans for wages during the period before the beginning of the current economic crisis. On the [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, we attempt to find out whether Spanish households took part in a process of substituting loans for wages during the period before the beginning of the current economic crisis. On the other hand, we try to identify the consequences of such process in the evolution of income and consumption inequalities. The theoretical framework to deal with the above mentioned issues is provided by a review of the economic literature on the determinants of consumer behaviour, namely, on consumption, saving and debt. The empirical study consists of a descriptive analysis, which is focused on two fields. First, we analyze the evolution of consumer credit (both, in aggregate and by income groups) and the savings rates. Second, we compare the values and temporal evolution of income and consumption inequalities. The period under study ranges from 2000 to 2008. Our analysis provides some empirical evidence that supports the hypothesis that financial conditions led to significant effects on the distribution of consumption. This influence is especially significant in the case of consumption inequalities. These inequalities were lower than income inequalities and were kept “artificially” low and stable during the whole period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Fiscal and Monetary Policy in the Great Recession)
Open AccessArticle Social Context and the Spread of HIV: An Evolutionary Game-Theoretic Investigation on the Impacts of Social Stigma on Epidemic Outcomes
Economies 2014, 2(3), 171-192; doi:10.3390/economies2030171
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 8 July 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
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Abstract
We provide a theoretical foundation for analyzing how social stigma and adopted behavioral traits affect the transmission of HIV across a population. We combine an evolutionary game-theoretic model—based on a relationship signaling stage game—with the SIR (susceptible-infected-recovered) model of disease transmission. Our [...] Read more.
We provide a theoretical foundation for analyzing how social stigma and adopted behavioral traits affect the transmission of HIV across a population. We combine an evolutionary game-theoretic model—based on a relationship signaling stage game—with the SIR (susceptible-infected-recovered) model of disease transmission. Our evolutionary model specifies how two types of social stigma—that which accompanies an HIV+ condition and that which follows associating with an HIV+ partner—influence behavioral propensities to honestly report one’s condition (or not) and to unconditionally accept relationships (or not). With respect to reporting an HIV+ condition, we find that condition stigma impedes the fitness of honest reporting, whereas association stigma impedes the relative fitness of concealing an HIV+ condition; and both propensities can coexist in a polymorphic equilibrium. By linking our model to the SIR model, we find that condition stigma unambiguously enhances disease transmission by discouraging both honest reporting and a society’s acceptance of AIDS education, whereas association stigma has an ambiguous impact: on one hand it can impede HIV transmission by discouraging concealing behavior and unconditional relationship acceptance, but it also compromises a society’s acceptance of AIDS education. Our relatively simple evolutionary/SIR model offers a foundation for numerous theoretical extensions—such as applications to social network theory—as well as foundation for many testable empirical hypotheses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)

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