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The Homo Oeconomicus Paradigm and the Design of Public Policies. Some Underrated Issues

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  • Elena Granaglia
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    Abstract

    Endorsing Pennacchi’s exhortation in La moralità del welfare (Donzelli, Roma, 2008) to abandon the homo oeconomicus paradigm and recognise a more complex preference structure, as well as the endogenous character of preferences themselves, this article dwells on some underrated shortcomings that the homo oeconomicus paradigm may produce in the design of public policies. Attention focuses on the risks of violating non-self-interested and non-materialistic preferences; of creating perverse effects with respect to the overall goals of policies while failing to exploit the potential of the policies themselves.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Associazione Rossi Doria in its journal QA.

    Volume (Year): (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0097

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    Keywords: Welfare Economics; Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents; Homo Oeconomicus Model;

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    1. Gregg, Paul & Grout, Paul A. & Ratcliffe, Anita & Smith, Sarah & Windmeijer, Frank, 2011. "How important is pro-social behaviour in the delivery of public services?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 758-766, August.
    2. Hirschman, Albert O, 1984. "Against Parsimony: Three Easy Ways of Complicating Some Categories of Economic Discourse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 89-96, May.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
    4. Fehr, Ernst & Gachter, Simon, 1998. "Reciprocity and economics: The economic implications of Homo Reciprocans1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 845-859, May.
    5. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2004. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 4641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Francois, Patrick, 2000. "'Public service motivation' as an argument for government provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 275-299, November.
    7. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    8. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1996. "The Old Lady Visits Your Backyard: A Tale of Morals and Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1297-1313, December.
    9. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario, 2008. "Motivating Altruism: A Field Study," IZA Discussion Papers 3770, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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