The Weak Rationality Principle in Economics
AbstractThe weak rationality principle is not an empirical statement but a heuristic rule of how to proceed in social sciences. It is a necessary ingredient of any ‘understanding’ social science in the Weberian sense. In this paper, first this principle and its role in economic theorizing is discussed. It is also explained why it makes sense to use a micro-foundation and, therefore, employ the rationality assumption in economic models. Then, with reference to the ‘bounded rationality’ approach, the informational assumptions are discussed. Third, we address the assumption of self-interest which is often seen as a part of the rationality assumption. We conclude with some remarks on handling the problems of ‘free will’ as well as ‘weakness of the will’ within the economic approach.
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 InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1410.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
rationality; self interest; micro-foundation; bounded rationality;
Other versions of this item:
- Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2004. "The Weak Rationality Principle in Economics," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-13, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-04-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2005-04-30 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2005-04-30 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2005-04-30 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
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.:
- Evans, Charles L., 1994.
"The post-war U.S. Phillips curve a comment,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 221-230, December.
- Fehr, Ernst & Gachter, Simon, 1998. "Reciprocity and economics: The economic implications of Homo Reciprocans1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 845-859, May.
- Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2005.
"(Why) are economists different?,"
European Journal of Political Economy,
Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 543-562, September.
- Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2004. "(Why) Are Economists Different?," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-18, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2005. "(Why) Are Economists Different?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1396, CESifo Group Munich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.