Séminaire GREDEG H2P2S - John B. Davis (University of Amsterdam)

"From Behavioral Welfare Economics’ ‘reconciliation problem’ to the individuality reconstruction problem"
Quand ? Le 02-07-2018,
de 15:30 à 17:00
Où ? Picasso Room
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Title : From Behavioral Welfare Economics’ ‘reconciliation problem’ to the individuality reconstruction problem

 

Abstract :  Behavioral Welfare Economics’ ‘reconciliation problem’ is that, if we accept that behavioral economics’ heuristics and biases program provides foundations for positive economics, then positive and normative economics are no longer consistent with one another and somehow need to be reconciled.  However, if individuals have time-inconsistent preferences and behave as if they have multiple selves, it is not only unclear what economic policy should be based on, but also who it applies to.  The dual selves literature intended to address the reconciliation problem thus has as a companion task dealing with an individuality reconstruction problem.  This paper critically discusses the ‘preference purification’ approach this literature pursues and the problematic nature of the idea of ‘an inner rational self’ akin to the traditional subjectivist individual conception.  It then reviews four alternative strategies for reconstructing individuals that in different ways make factors external to individuals determinative of individuality, and summarizes the state of thinking about individuals in standard economics.