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Addiction as Extreme-Seeking

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  • Barthold, Thomas A
  • Hochman, Harold M

Abstract

This paper examines addictive and compulsive behavior within a new framework in an effort to establish a stronger link to t he psychological and sociological literature on the subject. Individu als who suffer an addiction are not the classic homo economicus of te xtbooks, but are instead extreme-seekers. Concavities in indifference curves provide a simple characterization of extreme-seeking. The con sequences of consumption which is physiologically or psychologically addicting and which threatens the individual's health are modeled in terms of capital and threshold effects. The model is then used, tenta tively, to assess policies aimed at controlling substance abuse. Copyright 1988 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Barthold, Thomas A & Hochman, Harold M, 1988. "Addiction as Extreme-Seeking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 89-106, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:26:y:1988:i:1:p:89-106
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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Andrew M., 1999. "Adjustment costs, withdrawal effects, and cigarette addiction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 125-137, January.
    2. Sophie Massin, 2011. "La notion d'addiction en économie : La théorie du choix rationnel à l'épreuve," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 121(5), pages 713-750.
    3. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. "Optimal law enforcement and the economics of the drug market: Some comments on the Schengen Agreements," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 521-535, December.
    4. Wang Ruqu, 2007. "The Optimal Consumption and the Quitting of Harmful Addictive Goods," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-38, February.

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