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Meaning and function in the theory of consumer choice: dual selves in evolving networks

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  • Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten

Abstract

Building on the philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce, recent advances in biosemiotics have resulted into a concise framework for the analysis of signs in living systems. This paper explores the potential for economics and shows how biosemiotics can integrate two different research agendas, each of which are also connected with biological theories, namely neuroeconomics and the theory of networks. I introduce the triadic conceptual framework established by Peirce which distinguishes between object, sign and interpretant and the corresponding causal forces in evolving hierarchical systems. This framework is used to systematize recent results of neuroeconomics in the form of the dual selves approach, following early contributions of James Coleman, partitioning the individual into the acting self and the object self. This distinction implies that there is a fundamental information asymmetry between the two selves. Against this background, the semeiotic process is an information generating and processing dynamics, which is driven by the internal selection of classificatory schemes of actions chosen and the population level dynamics of sign selection, with mimetic behavior as a driver. This can be further analyzed by means of the theory of signal selection. A central insight is that the internal information gap between acting self and object self implies a systematic role of sign processing in social networks for any kind of consumer choice. I exemplify my approach with empirical references to food consumption as a most universal and simple form of consumer choice. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in its series Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series with number 153.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:153

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Keywords: consumer choice; biosemiotics; dual selves; networks; signal selection;

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References

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  1. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "The naturalistic turn in economics: implications for the theory of finance," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 105, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  2. C. Herrmann-Pillath., 2011. "A Neurolinguistic Approach to Performativity in Economics," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 2.
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  15. Schalast, Christoph & Bolder, Markus & Radünz, Claus & Siepmann, Stephanie & Weber, Thorsten, 2009. "Transaktionen und Servicing in der Finanzkrise: Berichte und Referate des Frankfurt School NPL Forums 2008," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 112, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
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  21. Wollersheim, Jutta & Barthel, Erich, 2008. "Kulturunterschiede bei Mergers & Acquisitions: Entwicklung eines Konzeptes zur Durchführung einer Cultural Due Diligence," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 94, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
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  24. Schalast, Christoph & Ockens, Klaas & Jobe, Clemens J. & Safran, Robert, 2006. "Work-out und Servicing von notleidenden Krediten: Berichte und Referate des HfB-NPL Servicing Forums 2006," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 76, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Libman, Alexander & Kozlov, Vladimir & Schultz, André, 2012. "Roving bandits in action: Outside option and governmental predation in autocracies," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 190, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  2. Yu, Xiaofan, 2011. "A spatial interpretation of the persistency of China's provincial inequality," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 171, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  3. Dietmar Harhoff & Elisabeth Mueller & John Van Reenen, 2013. "What are the Channels for Technology Sourcing? Panel Data Evidence from German Companies," CEP Discussion Papers dp1193, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Böing, Philipp & Müller, Elisabeth, 2012. "Technological Capabilities of Chinese Enterprises: Who is Going to Compete Abroad?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62081, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. Inklaar, Robert & Koetter, Michael & Noth, Felix, 2012. "Who's afraid of big bad banks? Bank competition, SME, and industry growth," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 197, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  6. Boeing, Philipp & Mueller, Elisabeth & Sandner, Philipp, 2012. "What makes Chinese firms productive? Learning from indigenous and foreign sources of knowledge," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 196, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  7. Kostka, Genia & Moslener, Ulf & Andreas, Jan G., 2011. "Barriers to energy efficiency improvement: Empirical evidence from small-and-medium sized enterprises in China," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 178, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

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