Scientific Numerology, Preference Anomalies, and Environmental Policymaking
Recently an abundance of experimental evidence has been gathered that is consonant with the notion that individual preferences are inconsistent and unstable. These empirical results potentially undermine the theoretical foundation of welfare economics, as the degree of preference lability claimed suggests that perhaps no optimization principles underlie even the most straightforward of choices. Yet policymakers in the environmental arena continue to prescribe policies based on economics-based methods that are constructed on the very principles that have been directly refuted. Are policymakers creatures of habit that move at glacial speed or is there something deeper behind their inertness? In this study, I explore this issue within the U.S. context and argue that there is some rationality behind current public policy decisionmaking. I then explore whether the empirical evidence supports the view that policymakers should take preference anomalies seriously. As a case study, I focus on some of my recent findings on preference inconsistencies in the marketplace. Copyright Springer 2005
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Volume (Year): 32 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (09)
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References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John A. List, 2006.
"Using Hicksian Surplus Measures to Examine Consistency of Individual Preferences: Evidence from a Field Experiment,"
Scandinavian Journal of Economics,
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- John A. List, 2004. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(2), pages 615-625, 03.
- John A. List, 2003. "Neoclassical Theory Versus Prospect Theory: Evidence from the Marketplace," NBER Working Papers 9736, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John List, 2004. "Neoclassical theory versus prospect theory: Evidence from the marketplace," Framed Field Experiments 00174, The Field Experiments Website.
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