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Crossing the Rubicon

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  • Amitai Etzioni

Abstract

Economists tend to assume that preferences are given and stable. This allows them to explain changes in behavior largely in terms of variables such as changes in income and relative prices, and more generally in terms of incentives and disincentives. However, sociologists and psychologists have shown that preferences are formed during socialization and continue to be reformulated during adulthood through factors such as persuasion, leadership, and advertising. Hence when comparing behavior at two points in time, one must take into account changes in preferences that may well have occurred during the given period. The challenge is that there is no consolidated theory of what factors drive preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Amitai Etzioni, 2014. "Crossing the Rubicon," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(2), pages 65-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:challe:v:57:y:2014:i:2:p:65-79
    DOI: 10.2753/0577-5132570205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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