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Toward A Behavioral Foundation of Normative Economics

Malte Dold and Christian Schubert ()

Review of Behavioral Economics, 2018, vol. 5, issue 3-4, 221-241

Abstract: While behavioral economics has had a major impact on positive theorizing in economics, it remains unclear what exactly those new insights about deviations from rational choice mean in terms of policy implications. Given the ever-rising interest in the new, psychologically informed economics, this paper outlines the way in which reasoning about the normative implications of behavioral economics has developed in the last decade. We argue that behavioral economics has inspired new thinking about the prospect of ‘behavioral normative economics’ (BNE). The paper sketches important approaches in the field, discusses their theoretical shortcomings, and outlines some initial ideas on how to conceptualize individuals’ identity as a key task in BNE. We suggest that the dualistic concepts of the individual should be abandoned in favor of a notion of a unified self that is constituted by its capacity to learn and reflect upon new preferences on a continuous basis.

Keywords: Behavioral; Identity; Nudging; Normative Economics; Welfare (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B41 D04 P46 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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