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Role Models that Make You Unhappy: Light Paternalism, Social Learning and Welfare

Christian Cordes and Christian Schubert ()

Papers on Economics and Evolution from Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography

Abstract: Behavioral (e.g. consumption) patterns of boundedly rational agents can lead these agents into learning dynamics that appear to be “wasteful” in terms of well-being or welfare. Within settings displaying preference endogeneity, it is however still unclear how to conceptualize well-being. This paper contributes to the discussion by suggesting a formal model of preference learning that can inform the construction of alternative notions of dynamic well-being. Based on the assumption that interacting agents are subject to two biases that make them systematically prefer some cultural variants over others, a procedural notion of well-being can be developed, based on the idea that policy should identify and confine conditions that generate dynamic instability in preference trajectories.

Keywords: Social Learning; Preference Change; Welfare; Human Cognition; Consumer Behavior Length 33 pages (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C61 D11 D63 D83 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-hpe and nep-mic
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (18) Track citations by RSS feed

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Journal Article: Role models that make you unhappy: light paternalism, social learning, and welfare (2013) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:esi:evopap:2010-22

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