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Representations and the Corruption of Goods

Martin K Jones

No 2015-83, SIRE Discussion Papers from Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE)

Abstract: The traditional view of the economic agent is of an individual who is self-interested, rational and perceives the world correctly. However, there is a lot of experimental and other evidence that undermines this view of agents. It is argued that an attempt to model these agents properly requires the cognitive science idea of a mental representation- a mental state with content. It is shown that this idea gives economists resources to discuss critiques of economics by Sandel (2012) and Grant (2012). In particular, it allows us to think clearly about the notion of goods being corrupted by a change in context from a non-market to a market situation.

Date: 2015-03
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