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The Representativeness Of Homo Oeconomicus And Its Rationality


  • Paula-Elena DIACON

    () (Doctoral School of Economics and Business Administration within Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania)


The homo oeconomicus model is an essential concept of the neoclassical analysis. It defines the agent capable of rational choices in pursuing the maximization of his own utility functions. Over time, the notion remained at the basis of many debates, related mainly to its relevance. However, the concept remained, until now, a fundamental component of mainstream analysis. This article aims to present a brief overview of the arguments that support the use of this model, but also its limitations and inconsistencies. Our main goal is to analyze if homo oeconomicus can be or not considered an ideal representation of the economic agent. Further, the analysis emphasize on the attribute of rationality, which is one of the most disputed feature in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Paula-Elena DIACON, 2014. "The Representativeness Of Homo Oeconomicus And Its Rationality," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 6(3), pages 29-35, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:jes:wpaper:y:2014:v:6:i:3:p:29-35

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zafirovski, Milan, 2008. "Classical and neoclassical conceptions of rationality--Findings of an exploratory survey," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 789-820, April.
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    More about this item


    homo oeconomicus; mainstream economics; economic behaviour; rationality;

    JEL classification:

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


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