Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here?
AbstractHope plays an important role in all individuals’ lives both today and in the future. While hope and hopelessness are important concepts and the subjects of much theorizing in psychology, theology, philosophy, political science, nursing, as well as in literature and the arts, it is absent from economics. This silence on hope is notable since hope is fundamentally at the centre of choice, especially intertemporal choice, which is at the centre of economic analysis. To place hope at the centre of intertemporal choice, it is important to clearly define what hope is and what it is not. What hope is not is constant. Hope is not optimism; hope is not unfounded dreams divorced from reality; hope is not irrational. I distil what hope is from its characterization in a number of different disciplines. A comparison of characterizations identifies a number of commonalities and common definitions. Using the derived set of definitions, I incorporate hope into economic analysis, consider what implications hope has for the modelling of choice and for economic behaviour, and discuss whether hope is implicitly imbedded in or has been abandoned, to our eternal cost, by economics.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n217-11.pdf.
Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Hope; rational choice; goal orientation; expectations; faith;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-03-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2011-03-19 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2011-03-19 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2011-03-19 (Neuroeconomics)
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