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Opportunity and Preference Learning

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  • Christian Schubert
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    Abstract

    Robert Sugden has recently elaborated upon the case for a normative standard of freedom as "opportunity" that is supposed to cope with the problem of how to realign normative economics - with its traditional rational choice orientation - with behavioral economics. His standard, though, presupposes that people respond to uncertainty about their own future preferences by dismissing any kind of self-commitment. We argue that the approach lacks psychological substance: Sugden's normative benchmark - the "responsible person" - is a purely artificial construct that can hardly serve as a convincing role model in a contractarian setting. An alternative concept is introduced, and some policy implications are briefly discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2012-08.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: 18 Apr 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2012-08

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    Keywords: Opportunity Criterion; Preference Change; Reconciliation Problem;

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    1. Sugden, Robert, 2010. "Opportunity As Mutual Advantage," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(01), pages 47-68, March.
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    4. Schubert, Christian & Cordes, Christian, 2013. "Role models that make you unhappy: light paternalism, social learning, and welfare," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 131-159, June.
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