Economics at your fingertips  

The Homer economicus narrative: from cognitive psychology to individual public policies

Guilhem Lecouteux

Post-Print from HAL

Abstract: A common narrative among some behavioural economists and policy makers is that experimental psychology highlights that individuals are more like Homer Simpson than the Mr Spock imagined by neoclassical economics, and that this justifies policies aiming to ‘correct' individual behaviours. This narrative is central to nudging policies and suggests that a better understanding of individual cognition will lead to better policy prescriptions. I argue that this Homer economicus narrative is methodologically flawed, and that its emphasis on cognition advances a distorted view of public policies consisting in fixing malfunctioning individuals, while ignoring the characteristics of the socio-economic environment that influence individuals' behaviours.

Keywords: homo economicus; rational choice; replication crisis; behaviourally informed policy; Homer Simpson and Mr Spock (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-neu
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Journal of Economic Methodology, 2023, The Soul of Economics, 30 (2), pp.176-187. ⟨10.1080/1350178X.2023.2192222⟩

There are no downloads for this item, see the EconPapers FAQ for hints about obtaining it.

Related works:
Journal Article: The Homer economicus narrative: from cognitive psychology to individual public policies (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: The Homer Economicus Narrative: From Cognitive Psychology to Individual Public Policies (2022) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1080/1350178X.2023.2192222

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Post-Print from HAL
Bibliographic data for series maintained by CCSD ().

Page updated 2024-03-04
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03791951