EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Preference purification and the inner rational agent: A critique of the conventional wisdom of behavioural welfare economics

Gerardo Infante (), Guilhem Lecouteux () and Robert Sugden

No 16-02, Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) from School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Abstract: Neoclassical economics assumes that individuals have stable and context-independent preferences, and uses preference-satisfaction as a normative criterion. By calling this assumption into question, behavioural findings cause fundamental problems for normative economics. A common response to these problems is to treat deviations from conventional rational-choice theory as mistakes, and to try to reconstruct the preferences that individuals would have acted on, had they reasoned correctly. We argue that this preference purification approach implicitly uses a dualistic model of the human being, in which an inner rational agent is trapped in an outer psychological shell. This model is psychologically and philosophically problematic.

Keywords: preference purification; inner rational agent; behavioural welfare economics; libertarian paternalism; context-dependent preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B41 D03 D60 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-hpe and nep-upt
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (43) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://www.uea.ac.uk/documents/166500/0/CBESS+16- ... 81-acbe-68db8dc69e3a main text (application/pdf)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 404 Not Found

Related works:
Journal Article: Preference purification and the inner rational agent: a critique of the conventional wisdom of behavioural welfare economics (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Preference purification and the inner rational agent: a critique of the conventional wisdom of behavioural welfare economics (2016) 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: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:uea:wcbess:16-02

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Reception, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) from School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Thomas Cushan ().

 
Page updated 2022-01-17
Handle: RePEc:uea:wcbess:16-02