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A Cognitive Model of Individual Well-Being

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  • David Schmeidler

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  • Itzhak Gilboa

Abstract

This paper offers a model of individual well-being that takes into account cognitive factors. It postulates that individuals compare payoffs to aspiration levels. The latter are determined by past experiences (adaptation), by other people's performance (interpersonal comparison), as well as by reasoning (justifications and excuses). We axiomatize a measure of well-being defined on real-valued vectors of various lengths. It is a linear combination of differences between payoffs and aspiration levels, where the aspiration level at each instance is a linear function of past payoffs.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Ohio State University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 029.

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Date of creation: Jul 1996
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Handle: RePEc:osu:osuewp:029

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  1. Wansbeek, T.J. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1985. "The individual welfare function: A review," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364330, Tilburg University.
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  6. March, James G., 1988. "Variable risk preferences and adaptive aspirations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 5-24, January.
  7. Ng, Yew-Kwang & Wang, Jianguo, 1993. "Relative income, aspiration, environmental quality, individual and political myopia : Why may the rat-race for material growth be welfare-reducing?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-23, July.
  8. Kapteyn, Arie & Wansbeek, Tom & Buyze, Jeannine, 1978. "The dynamics of preference formation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 93-98.
  9. Schoemaker, Paul J H, 1982. "The Expected Utility Model: Its Variants, Purposes, Evidence and Limitations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 529-63, June.
  10. Otis Duncan, 1975. "Does money buy satisfaction?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 267-274, December.
  11. Mezias, Stephen J., 1988. "Aspiration level effects: An empirical investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 389-400, December.
  12. Harsanyi, John C., 1992. "Game and decision theoretic models in ethics," Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, in: R.J. Aumann & S. Hart (ed.), Handbook of Game Theory with Economic Applications, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 19, pages 669-707 Elsevier.
  13. Itzhak Gilboa, 1991. "Rationality and Ascriptive Science," Discussion Papers 943, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  14. Wansbeek, T.J. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1982. "Empirical evidence on preference formation," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364313, Tilburg University.
  15. Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Income distribution, happiness and satisfaction: A direct test of the interdependent preferences model," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 425-446, December.
  16. Loewenstein, George & Adler, Daniel, 1995. "A Bias in the Prediction of Tastes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(431), pages 929-37, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anand, Paul & van Hees, Martin, 2006. "Capabilities and achievements: An empirical study," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 268-284, April.
  2. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2008. "Social Decision Theory: Choosing within and between Groups," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 71, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. G.nther, Isabel & Maier, Johannes, 2013. "Poverty, vulnerability, and reference dependent utility," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Conchita D'Ambrosio & Joachim R. Frick, 2007. "Individual Well-Being in a Dynamic Perspective," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 5, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Pingle, Mark, 2005. "Aspiration uncertainty: its impact on decision performance and process," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 617-629, April.
  6. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2006. "Does Happiness Adapt? A Longitudinal Study of Disability with Implications for Economists and Judges," IZA Discussion Papers 2208, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Brown, Gordon D. A. & Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J. & Qian, Jing, 2005. "Does Wage Rank Affect Employees' Wellbeing?," IZA Discussion Papers 1505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Golosnoy, Vasyl & Okhrin, Yarema, 2008. "General uncertainty in portfolio selection: A case-based decision approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 718-734, September.

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