Robert Sugden: "Reconciling normative and behavioural economics without assuming an inner rational agent"
- Date: –15:00
- Location: Zoom (contact Mattias Forsgren for link)
- Lecturer: Robert Sugden, School of Economics, University of East Anglia
- Organiser: Department of Psychology, Division of Perception and Cognition
- Contact person: Mattias Forsgren
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. I argue that his 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. I propose an alternative approach in which the normative criterion is the existence of opportunities for voluntary transactions between individuals.