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Maximization and the Act of Choice

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  • Amartya Sen

Abstract

The act of choosing can have particular relevance in maximizing behavior for at least two distinct reasons: (1) process significance (preferences may be sensitive to the choice process, including the identity of the chooser) and (2) decisional inescapability (choices may have to be made whether or not the judgmental process has been completed). The general approach of maximizing behavior can--appropriately formulated--accommodate both concerns, but the regularities of choice behavior assumed in standard models of rational choice will need significant modification. These differences have considerable relevance in studies of economic, social, and political behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:65:y:1997:i:4:p:745-780
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    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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