What is the meaning of behavioural economics?

Hargreaves Heap, S.P. (2013) What is the meaning of behavioural economics? Cambridge Journal of Economics, 37 (5). pp. 985-1000. ISSN 0309-166X

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Abstract

This article examines the insights into how people actually behave from behavioural economics and how this affects economic explanation and prescription. It argues that implications for explanation are likely always to be contestable (because, as a new source of empirical evidence, behavioural economics encounters familiar problems with empiricism). The implications for prescription, however, are potentially significant, although not in the direction popularised by 'nudging'. Indeed, the behavioural insights suggest that public policy should be less concerned with forms of preference satisfaction and more concerned with individual autonomy. On many accounts of the philosophy of social science, the tension between these insights into behaviour and the dominant model of rational choice would likely consign behavioural economics to the margins of the discipline. In this context, however, this is not true, and the article concludes with a discussion of this puzzle.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: behavioural economics,explanation,prescription,method
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Behavioural and Experimental Economics
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Media@uea
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Media@uea
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2013 14:12
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 08:51
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/44437
DOI: 10.1093/cje/bes090

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