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Dopamine, Reward Prediction Error, and Economics

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  • 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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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. Schipper, Burkhard C., 2008. "On An Evolutionary Foundation Of Neuroeconomics," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(03), pages 495-513, November.
  2. Nicholas A. Christakis & Jan-Emmanuel De Neve & James H. Fowler & Bruno S. Frey, 2012. "Genes, Economics and Happiness," CEP Discussion Papers dp1127, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Proto, Eugenio & Rustichini, 2012. "A Reassessment of the Relationship Between GDP and Life Satisfaction," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 94, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  4. Witt, Ulrich & Binder, Martin, 2013. "Disentangling motivational and experiential aspects of “utility” – A neuroeconomics perspective," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 27-40.
  5. Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & Itzhak Aharon, 2011. "From Neuroeconomics to Genetics: The Intertemporal Choices Case as an Example," Post-Print ijn_00713466, HAL.
  6. 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.
  7. Kuhnen, Camelia M. & Knutson, Brian, 2011. "The Influence of Affect on Beliefs, Preferences, and Financial Decisions," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 605-626, June.
  8. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2008. "Economic Insights from "Neuroeconomic" Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 169-74, May.
  9. Daniel Burghart & Paul Glimcher & Stephanie Lazzaro, 2013. "An expected utility maximizer walks into a bar..," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 215-246, June.
  10. 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.
  11. Hogarth, Robin M. & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "Ambiguous incentives and the persistence of effort: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 1-19.
  12. 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.

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