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Preferences, choice, goal attainment, satisfaction: That's life?


  • Pecchenino, Rowena A.


We make choices to achieve an objective. The objective is defined by an individual's preferences. Subject to constraints, the objective is approached or achieved. Is this a good characterization of life? To answer this question we weaken one of the most basic assumptions of economics: individuals know their preferences. Instead we assume that an individual's preferences are shaped and reshaped by his environment, experiences, expectations, and by exogenous events. In this model of individual self-discovery, preferences emerge, evolve, and change. These redefinitions change the future course of the individual's life and reinterpret his past. They characterize a life lived.

Suggested Citation

  • Pecchenino, Rowena A., 2011. "Preferences, choice, goal attainment, satisfaction: That's life?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 237-241, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:40:y:2011:i:3:p:237-241

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Identity Preferences Choice Life;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles


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