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Searching for identity in the capability space

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  • Alan Kirman
  • Miriam Teschl

Abstract

In this paper, we consider the extension of the conception of the economic agent as a person who chooses particular actions in relation to his or her social identity. We do this in particular by analysing Akerlof and Kranton's recent models on 'economics and identity' (2000). Amartya Sen has over the years consistently pointed out that a person might have different reasons to choose, including not only those that increase a person's self-interested utility, however broadly this self might be defined. The question then is how should one assess a person's well-being if her choices are not based on the maximisation of her 'own' utility. Against the background of these considerations, we will present our own analysis of the economic agent's identity, which is motivated not by the self-interested choices, but by achieving consistency between one's characteristics and one's desired self-image through participation in different social groups. We propose to situate this identity-conception in a space of capabilities.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 299-325

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:13:y:2006:i:3:p:299-325

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Related research

Keywords: social identity; personal identity; preferences; rationality of choice; change;

References

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  1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
  3. John Davis, 1995. "Personal identity and standard economic theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 35-52.
  4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and Persistence of Oppositional Identities," Research Papers in Economics 2011:16, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. Pecchenino, Rowena A., 2009. "Becoming: Identity and spirituality," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 31-36, January.
  3. Raphaël Lhomme, 2013. "Faits et valeurs dans l'approche par les capabilités en économie : la place de la culture dans la méthodologie. Le cas des inégalités de genre dans l'accès à l'éducation de base," Post-Print dumas-00906152, HAL.
  4. Rullani, Francesco & Haefliger, Stefan, 2013. "The periphery on stage: The intra-organizational dynamics in online communities of creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 941-953.
  5. Caroline Gerschlager, 2008. "Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith," DULBEA Working Papers 08-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  6. Ulrich Horst & Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2007. "Changing Identity: The Emergence of Social Groups," Economics Working Papers 0078, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  7. Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Dragging developers towards the core," KITeS Working Papers 190, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Feb 2007.
  8. Thomas Jeitschko & Seamus O'Connell & Rowena Pecchenino, 2008. "Generalised Means of Simple Utility Functions with Risk Aversion," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 39(1), pages 39-54.
  9. Anaïs Carlin, 2014. "Consumer Choice Theory and Social Learning," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-13, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  10. Lombardini-Riipinen, Chiara & Lankoski, Leena, 2010. "Take off the heater: Utility effect and food environment effect in food consumption decisions," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116431, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  11. Drydakis, Nick, 2012. "The Effect of Ethnic Identity on the Employment of Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 6314, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Nick Drydakis, 2013. "The effect of ethnic identity on the employment of immigrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 285-308, June.

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