Rhetoric and Methodology of Behavioral Economics: The Case of Intertemporal Choice
This paper aims to present and discuss some values in theory construction and the resulting methodological and rhetorical strategies adopted by behavioral economics in search of improved explanations and predictions of choice behavior. Its point of departure is the conjecture that changes in theorizing and methodological perspectives are motivated by doubts about whether the resemblance between the standard economic model of choice and reality is close enough given the purposes of explanation and prediction.To undertake the foregoing task, it focuses attention on the terms of the debate about why (and how) to reform the behavioral foundations of the basic model of intertemporal choice (i.e. constant discounted utility model). More importantly, it will advance the thesis that behavioral economists' way of using experimental data to test and justify the hyperbolic discounting hypothesis is rather persuasive and has contributed to improved explanation of intertemporal choice anomalies, though it involves important methodological challenges.
Volume (Year): 10 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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