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A Theory of Truth in Autobiography


  • Buchanan, James M
  • Tollison, Robert D


The "truth" in autobiography depends on the observable historical record of a person's life. The less attractive the observed life, the more "truthful" is the autobiography. This result does not require differential standards of honesty as among autobiographers. It does depend on the presupposition that there exists a common value scale along which lives may be judged, and upon the common directional bias toward the "good" in all autobiography. Copyright 1986 by WWZ and Helbing & Lichtenhahn Verlag AG

Suggested Citation

  • Buchanan, James M & Tollison, Robert D, 1986. "A Theory of Truth in Autobiography," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 507-517.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:39:y:1986:i:4:p:507-17

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel Kahneman & Peter P. Wakker & Rakesh Sarin, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-406.
    2. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    4. Alois Stutzer & Armando N. Meier, 2016. "Limited Self‐control, Obesity, and the Loss of Happiness," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(11), pages 1409-1424, November.
    5. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
    6. Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Leertouwer, Erik & de Hann, Jakob, 2002. "Which Economic Freedoms Contribute to Growth? A Comment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 403-416.
    7. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
    8. Frey, Bruno S, 1986. "Economists Favour the Price System--Who Else Does?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(4), pages 537-563.
    9. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2007. "Review 1: Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 441-454, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Silveira, Antonio Maria da, 1990. "The public choice sedition: variations on the theme of scientific warfare," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 165, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

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