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Rhetoric and Methodology of Behavioral Economics: The Case of Intertemporal Choice


  • Celia Roberta Muramatsu



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.

Suggested Citation

  • Celia Roberta Muramatsu, 2009. "Rhetoric and Methodology of Behavioral Economics: The Case of Intertemporal Choice," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 10(1), pages 01-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:anp:econom:v:10:y:2009:i:1:p01_18

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hendry, David F & Doornik, Jurgen A, 1994. "Modelling Linear Dynamic Econometric Systems," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 41(1), pages 1-33, February.
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    3. Rossi, JoseW., 1989. "The demand for money in Brazil : What happened in the 1980s?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 357-367, October.
    4. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Staggered Wage Setting in a Macro Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 108-113, May.
    5. Calomiris, Charles W & Domowitz, Ian, 1989. "Asset Substitution, Money Demand, and the Inflation Process in Brazil," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 21(1), pages 78-89, February.
    6. Cati, Regina Celia & Garcia, Marcio G P & Perron, Pierre, 1999. "Unit Roots in the Presence of Abrupt Governmental Interventions with an Application to Brazilian Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 27-56, Jan.-Feb..
    7. Engsted, Tom, 1993. "Cointegration and Cagan's Model of Hyperinflation under Rational Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(3), pages 350-360, August.
    8. Feliz, Raul Anibal & Welch, John H., 1997. "Cointegration and tests of a classical model of inflation in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 189-219, February.
    9. Durevall, Dick, 1998. "The Dynamics of Chronic Inflation in Brazil, 1968-1985," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(4), pages 423-432, October.
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    12. Soren Johansen, 2002. "A Small Sample Correction for the Test of Cointegrating Rank in the Vector Autoregressive Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1929-1961, September.
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    More about this item


    Rhetoric; Methodology; Economics; Psychology; Explanation;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making


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