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Rational addiction theory – a survey of opinions

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  • Melberg, Hans Olav

    ()
    (Institute of Health Management and Health Economics)

Abstract

This paper reports briefly on some of the results from a survey of academics who have written about the theory of rational addiction. The topic is important in itself because if the literature is viewed by its participants as an intellectual game, then policy makers should be aware of this so as not to derive actual policy from toy models. More generally, the answers shed light on the nature of economics and how many economists think about model building, evidence requirements and the policy relevance of their work. A majority of the respondents believe the literature is a success story that demonstrates the power of economic reasoning. At the same time they also believe the empirical evidence to be weak, and they disagree both on the type of evidence that would validate the theory and the policy implications. Taken together this points to an interesting gap. On the one hand most of the respondents claim that the theory has valuable real-world implications. On the other hand they do not believe the theory has received empirical support.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Health Economics Research Programme in its series HERO On line Working Paper Series with number 2008:7.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 02 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:oslohe:2008_007

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Postal: HERO / Institute of Health Management and Health Economics P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 2307 5309
Fax: 2307 5310
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Web page: http://www.hero.uio.no/eng.html
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Keywords: Rational addiction theory; survey of opinions of economists; disagreement on evidence criteria and interpretation of evidence;

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Cited by:
  1. Sophie Massin, 2011. "La notion d'addiction en économie : La théorie du choix rationnel à l'épreuve," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 121(5), pages 713-750.

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