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From Prospect Theory to Behavioural Welfare Economics

Ivan Mitrouchev ()
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Ivan Mitrouchev: URCA - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne]

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Abstract: Before behavioural welfare economics flourished over the last two decades, the potential normative implications of prospect theory were already a subject of discussion by Kahneman and Tversky in their seminal articles of 1979, 1981 and 1986. This paper aims at clarifying some principles of behavioural welfare economics through the lens of the few normative concerns Kahneman and Tversky had in prospect theory. The overall argument of the paper is that contrary to the common historical transcription that the heuristics-and-biases program was deprived from normative concerns, I here provide a slight twist. First generation of prospect theory was not deprived from normative concerns (at least not entirely), and the evolution of the heuristics-and-biases program during the 1990s is to be seen as a natural progression to the study of well-being measurement and policy analysis rather than a strict historical break between ‘positive' and ‘normative' behavioural economics.

Date: 2020-06-02
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