The market for preferences
Learning processes are widely held to be the mechanism by which boundedly rational agents adapt to environmental changes. We argue that this same outcome might also be achieved by a different mechanism, namely specialisation and the division of knowledge, which we here extend to the consumer side of the economy. We distinguish between high-level preferences and low-level preferences as nested systems of rules used to solve particular choice problems. We argue that agents, while sovereign in high-level preferences, may often find it expedient to acquire, in a pseudo-market, the low-level preferences in order to make good choices when purchasing complex commodities about which they have little or no experience. A market for preferences arises when environmental complexity overwhelms learning possibilities and leads agents to make use of other people's specialised knowledge and decision rules. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 28 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://www.cje.oupjournals.org/Email:
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:28:y:2004:i:4:p:619-633. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.