The Economic Person - Methodological Relevance of the Model
The main thesis is that the model of the economic person contains the methodological codification of the modern science of economics. The model comprises as its constituent elements deductive assumptions on the target-oriented function of people who are faced with economic choices, on the limitations over those choices and the opportunities they have to optimize the latter. Each element is represented as a projection of the fundamental presumption of the rationality of economic subjects. It is emphasized that, as far as methodology is concerned, the binding of the science of economics to its fundamental behaviorist model does not allow us to set precise boundaries as to its subject, however, it does identify the science very clearly through the specific approach it uses towards the phenomena under study. Methodological individualism is pointed out as the main feature of the economic approach. The manifestations of the former in the individual elements of the model of the economic person are discussed. The relative advantages of methodological individualism over holism through comparison of the models of the economic and sociological person are given. Special treatment is given to methodological instrumentalism and the way the hypotheses forming the base behaviorist model are instrumental in the realization of the latter in economic analysis. With respect to the application of that principle, the interrelation between the model of the economic person and general economic development is pointed out.
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Volume (Year): (2003)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
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- George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
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