The impossibility of rational consumer choice
AbstractIn this paper we show that a rational consumer choice along the lines traditionally suggested might lead to paradoxical results if one considers multidimensional goods, which incorporate a series of incommensurable aspects. Thereby, we explore the similarity between the resulting paradox and Kenneth Arrow’s well known Impossibility Theorem. Based on these considerations we suggest a solution for the former problem along the lines of Herbert Simon and Amos Tversky, which might—if driven to its extreme—even provide a unique and arguably rational solution for consumer choice among multidimensional goods. Eventually, we argue that the resulting framework poses a potentially useful starting point for further developing an evolutionary theory of consumer choice. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.
Volume (Year): 23 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00191/index.htm
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Institutional; Evolutionary
- D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
- D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sen, A., 1996.
"Maximisation and the Act of Choice,"
270, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Amartya Sen, 1996. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1766, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Liran Einav & Jonathan D. Levin, 2010.
"Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress Report,"
NBER Working Papers
15786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J. Levin & L. Einav., 2012. "Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress Report," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 1.
- Liran Einav & Jonathan Levin, 2010. "Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress Report," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 145-62, Spring.
- Liran Einav & Jonathan Levin, 2010. "Empirical Industrial Organization: A Progress Report," Discussion Papers 09-010, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Kenneth J. Arrow, 1950. "A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 328.
- Matthew Rabin, 1998.
"Psychology and Economics,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
- Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
- Brian J. Loasby, 2001. "special issue: Cognition, imagination and institutions in demand creation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 7-21.
- Sugden, Robert, 1985. "Why Be Consistent? A Critical Analysis of Consistency Requirements in Choice Theory," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 52(206), pages 167-83, May.
- Richard Nelson & Davide Consoli, 2010.
"An evolutionary theory of household consumption behavior,"
Journal of Evolutionary Economics,
Springer, vol. 20(5), pages 665-687, October.
- Nelson, Richard & Consoli, Davide, 2010. "An Evolutionary Theory of Household Consumption Behavior," MPRA Paper 20197, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Andreas Reinstaller & Bulat Sanditov, 2005. "Social structure and consumption: on the diffusion of consumer good innovation," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 15(5), pages 505-531, November.
- Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Rational Choice: A Survey of Contributions from Economics and Philosophy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 751-85, July.
- Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
- Kenneth J. Arrow & Herve Raynaud, 1986. "Social Choice and Multicriterion Decision-Making," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511754, January.
- Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
- Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
- Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
- J.S. Metcalfe, 2001. "special issue: Consumption, preferences, and the evolutionary agenda," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 37-58.
- Marina Bianchi, 1997. "Collecting as a Paradigm of Consumption," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 275-289, December.
- Wang, Ge & Huang, Samuel H. & Dismukes, John P., 2004. "Product-driven supply chain selection using integrated multi-criteria decision-making methodology," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 1-15, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.