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Decision, Contract, and Emotion: Some Economics for a Complex and Confusing World

  • W. Bentley MacLeod

This essay illustrates that is if Leonard J. Savage's (1972) small world assumption is relaxed, one can construct a theory of bounded rationality that incorporates some of the insights from recent work in cognitive psychology. The theory can be used to explain why contracts are incomplete and the existence of endowment effects in exchange.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 788-810

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:29:y:1996:i:4:p:788-810
Contact details of provider: Postal: Canadian Economics Association Prof. Steven Ambler, Secretary-Treasurer c/o Olivier Lebert, CEA/CJE/CPP Office C.P. 35006, 1221 Fleury Est Montréal, Québec, Canada H2C 3K4
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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1997. "Incomplete Contracts and Strategic Ambiguity," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1787, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  3. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
  4. Spiegel Matthew & Currie Janet & Sonnenschein Hugo & Sen Arunava, 1994. "Understanding When Agents Are Fairmen or Gamesmen," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 104-115, July.
  5. MacLeod W. Bentley, 2002. "Complexity, Bounded Rationality and Heuristic Search," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-52, September.
  6. Vernon L. Smith, 1994. "Economics in the Laboratory," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 113-131, Winter.
  7. Claudia Goldin, 1985. "Monitoring Costs and Occupational Segregation by Sex: An Historical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 1560, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-95, December.
  9. Martin J. Osborne & Ariel Rubinstein, 1994. "A Course in Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262650401, June.
  10. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
  11. Ellingsen, Tore, 1997. "The Evolution of Bargaining Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 581-602, May.
  12. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-54, Summer.
  13. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Anderlini, L. & Felli, L., 1993. "Incomplete Written Contracts: Undescribable States of Nature," Papers 183, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
  15. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
  16. H. Lorne Carmichael & W. Bentley MacLeod, 1997. "Territorial Bargaining," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 343., Boston College Department of Economics.
  17. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  18. Baker, George P, 1992. "Incentive Contracts and Performance Measurement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 598-614, June.
  19. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1995. "Case-Based Decision Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 605-39, August.
  20. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  21. Dye, Ronald A, 1985. "Costly Contract Contingencies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(1), pages 233-50, February.
  22. Charles Brown, 1990. "Firms' choice of method of pay," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 165-182, February.
  23. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
  24. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
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