We argue that socializing is an important economic activity because it is vital to our well being, and that an important input into the activity of socializing is the set of experiences that is shared by the participants. Clearly, a person's experiences are generated, in part, by standard economic choices, and therefore the set of shared experiences in any social encounter is driven by the prior economic choices of individual participants. One implication is that these prior choices are not purely private since the utility that individual participants derive from a social encounter is linked to them. Our model of this link provides an explanation of a number of interesting phenomena, including certain sorts of conformity, the domination of one culture by another, and the existence of superstars.
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