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Rationality, external norms, and the epistemic value of menus

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  • Walter Bossert

    ()

  • Kotaro Suzumura

    ()

Abstract

Ever since Sen’s (1993; 1997) criticism on the notion of internal consistency or menu independence of choice, there exists a widespread perception that the standard revealed preference approach to the theory of rational choice has difficulties in coping with the existence of external norms, or the information a menu of choice might convey to a decision-maker, viz., the epistemic value of a menu. This paper provides a brief survey of possible responses to these criticisms of traditional rational choice theory. It is shown that a novel concept of norm-conditional rationalizability can neatly accommodate external norms within the standard framework of rationalizability theory. Furthermore, we illustrate that there are several ways of incorporating considerations regarding the epistemic value of opportunity sets into a generalized model of rational choice theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Choice and Welfare.

Volume (Year): 37 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 729-741

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Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:37:y:2011:i:4:p:729-741

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  1. Bossert, Walter, 2000. "Opportunity sets and uncertain consequences1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 475-496, May.
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  15. BOSSERT, Walter & SPRUMONT, Yves & SUZUMURA, Kotaro, 2001. "Rationalizability of Choice Functions on General Domains without Full Transitivity," Cahiers de recherche 2001-13, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  16. Barbera, Salvador & Pattanaik, Prasanta K., 1984. "Extending an order on a Set to the power set: Some remarks on Kannai and Peleg's approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 185-191, February.
  17. Prasanta K. Pattanaik & Yongsheng Xu & Walter Bossert, 2000. "Choice under complete uncertainty: axiomatic characterizations of some decision rules," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 295-312.
  18. Fishburn, Peter C., 1984. "Comment on the Kannai-Peleg impossibility theorem for extending orders," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 176-179, February.
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  21. Suzumura, Kataro, 1976. "Remarks on the Theory of Collective Choice," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 43(172), pages 381-90, November.
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