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Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters

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  • Bruno Frey
  • Matthias Benz
  • Alois Stutzer

Abstract

People not only care about outcomes; they also value the procedures that lead to the outcomes. Procedural utility is an important source of human well-being. This paper aims at introducing the concept of procedural utility into economics, and argues that it should be incorporated more widely into economic theory and empirical research. Three building blocks of a concept of procedural utility are outlined, and it is suggested how procedural utility can be fruitfully integrated. Evidence from a broad range of social sciences is reviewed in order to show that procedural utility is a relevant concept for economics.

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  • Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 377-401, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200409)160:3_377:ipunow_2.0.tx_2-x
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    JEL classification:

    • A00 - General Economics and Teaching - - General - - - General
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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