Preference purification and the inner rational agent:A critique of the conventional wisdom of behavioural welfare economics

Infante, Gerardo, Lecouteux, Guilhem and Sugden, Robert (2016) Preference purification and the inner rational agent:A critique of the conventional wisdom of behavioural welfare economics. Journal of Economic Methodology, 23 (1). pp. 1-25. ISSN 1350-178X

[img]
Preview
PDF (Preference purification and the inner rational agent) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (481kB) | Preview

    Abstract

    Neoclassical economics assumes that individuals have stable and context-independent preferences, and uses preference-satisfaction as a normative criterion. By calling this assumption into question, behavioural findings cause fundamental problems for normative economics. A common response to these problems is to treat deviations from conventional rational-choice theory as mistakes, and to try to reconstruct the preferences that individuals would have acted on, had they reasoned correctly. We argue that this preference purification approach implicitly uses a dualistic model of the human being, in which an inner rational agent is trapped in an outer psychological shell. This model is psychologically and philosophically problematic.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: preference purification,inner rational agent,behavioural welfare economics,libertarian paternalism,context-dependent preferences
    Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
    Depositing User: Pure Connector
    Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 09:06
    Last Modified: 19 Jan 2019 01:03
    URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/57618
    DOI: 10.1080/1350178X.2015.1070527

    Actions (login required)

    View Item