Reconciling normative and behavioural economics: The problems to be solved

McQuillin, Ben and Sugden, Robert (2012) Reconciling normative and behavioural economics: The problems to be solved. Social Choice and Welfare, 38 (4). pp. 553-567. ISSN 0176-1714

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We review the problem of reconciling normative and behavioural economics. In conventional welfare economics, individuals’ preferences are assumed to be coherent, and the satisfaction of those preferences is the normative criterion; but this approach breaks down if preferences are incoherent. Traditionally, the preference-satisfaction criterion has been interpreted in three conceptually different ways, emphasising respectively the normative value of happiness, self-assessed well-being, and freedom. If individuals’ preferences are incoherent, these interpretations diverge, leading to fundamentally different strategies for dealing with the reconciliation problem, and new questions are raised about whether normative economics should be addressed to governments or individuals.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
Depositing User: Julie Frith
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2012 10:46
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 00:27
DOI: 10.1007/s00355-011-0627-1

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