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Dopamine, Reward Prediction Error, and Economics

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Author Info

  • Andrew Caplin

    (Center for Experimental Social Science, Department of Economics New York University)

  • Mark Dean

    (Center for Experimental Social Science, Department of Economics New York University)

Abstract

The neurotransmitter dopamine has been found to play a crucial role in choice, learning, and belief formation. The best-developed current theory of dopaminergic function is the "reward prediction error" hypothesis-that dopamine encodes the difference between the experienced and predicted "reward" of an event. We provide axiomatic foundations for this hypothesis to help bridge the current conceptual gap between neuroscience and economics. Continued research in this area of overlap between social and natural science promises to overhaul our understanding of how beliefs and preferences are formed, how they evolve, and how they play out in the act of choice. (c) 2008 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1162/qjec.2008.123.2.663
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 123 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 663-701

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:2:p:663-701

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Cited by:
  1. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & Nicholas A. Christakis & James H. Fowler & Bruno S. Frey, 2010. "Genes, Economics, and Happiness," CESifo Working Paper Series 2946, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Ulrich Witt & Martin Binder, 2011. "Disentangling Motivational and Experiential Aspects of "Utility" - A Neuroeconomics Perspective," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-20, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  3. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2008. "Economic Insights from "Neuroeconomic" Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 169-74, May.
  4. Burkhard C. Schipper, 2008. "On an Evolutionary Foundation of Neuroeconomics," Working Papers 84, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Grimalda, Gianluca & Kar, Anirban & Proto, Eugenio, 2012. "Everyone Wants a Chance : Initial Positions and Fairness in Ultimatum Games," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 989, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. Élise PAYZAN LE NESTOUR, 2010. "Bayesian Learning in UnstableSettings: Experimental Evidence Based on the Bandit Problem," Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series 10-28, Swiss Finance Institute.
  7. Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Itzhak Aharon, 2011. "From Neuroeconomics to Genetics: The Intertemporal Choices Case as an Example," Post-Print ijn_00713466, HAL.
  8. Kuhnen, Camelia & Knutson, Brian, 2008. "The Influence of Affect on Beliefs, Preferences and Financial Decisions," MPRA Paper 10410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Jeffrey Carpenter & Justin Garcia & J. Lum, 2011. "Dopamine receptor genes predict risk preferences, time preferences, and related economic choices," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 233-261, June.
  10. Jack Vromen, 2011. "Neuroeconomics: two camps gradually converging: what can economics gain from it?," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 267-285, September.

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