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Consumer Choice Theory and Social Learning

Anais Carlin

No 2014-13, GREDEG Working Papers from Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France

Abstract: In this paper we formalize learning as a determinant of individual choice. We model economic agent as an individual who makes her choice according to a specific set of experiences, which evolves over time as the agent learns from both her personal history and her social environment. We link preferences to choices through the notion of hierarchy of wants. We present an axiomatic characterization, inspired by Georgescu-Roegen (1950, 1954), of the individual choice mechanism in a social environment. Following these axioms, we show that an agent may change her choice from one period to another and remain nonetheless rational. The learning mechanism allows for the modification of individual preference ordering over time as well as it implies irreversibility, in the sense that economic changes leave a mark in the decision making process.

Keywords: Preference formation; preference change; learning; path dependency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 D11 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2014-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-mic
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