OPPORTUNITY AND PREFERENCE LEARNING
Christian Schubert ()
Economics and Philosophy, 2015, vol. 31, issue 2, 275-295
Robert Sugden has suggested a normative standard of freedom as â€˜opportunityâ€™ that is supposed to help realign normative economics â€“ with its traditional rational choice orientation â€“ with behavioural economics. While allowing preferences to be incoherent, he wants to maintain the anti-paternalist stance of orthodox welfare economics. His standard, though, presupposes that people respond to uncertainty about their own future preferences by dismissing any kind of self-constraint. We argue that the approach lacks psychological substance: Sugden's normative benchmark â€“ the â€˜responsible personâ€™ â€“ can hardly serve as a convincing role model in a contractarian setting. An alternative concept is introduced, and some implications are briefly discussed.
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Working Paper: Opportunity and Preference Learning (2012)
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