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La notion d'addiction en économie : La théorie du choix rationnel à l'épreuve

  • Sophie Massin
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    This article analyzes the economic literature of the last forty years in the field of addiction and studies its relation to the theory of rational choice. It emphasizes the structuring role of the theory of rational addiction developed by Becker and Murphy [1988]. This theory constitutes both a technical achievement thanks to the formalization of the essential features of addiction using a framework with endogenous preferences complying with the hypotheses of the theory of rational choice and a revolution in the way to perceive addiction, which is no more an unwanted behavior, but the outcome of a cost-benefit calculus in the long run. Evidence of its empirical validation however tends to be weak. This emphasizes the limitations of a purely logical approach to addiction. Interdisciplinary collaborations with psychology and neurobiology are at the heart of recent initiatives for a better understanding of these behaviors.

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    Article provided by Dalloz in its journal Revue d'économie politique.

    Volume (Year): 121 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 713-750

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    Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_215_0713
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