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Une approche économique de la notion de prudence

  • Gérard Mondello

[fre] Ce texte a pour objet principal de sensibiliser l'économiste à la nécessité d'appréhender une question qui n'a été abordée, véritablement, que dans le domaine juridique : celle de la prudence. Les implications pour les économistes des préoccupations juridiques sont évidentes. En effet, assigner par un Traité, un contrat, une convention etc., la nécessité d'adopter un comportement prudent implique que l'économiste soit en mesure de spécifier les caractères prudents des actions qu'il entreprend. Nous avons limité la notion de prudence à une notion un peu abstraite : l'utilité intertemporelle associée à la conservation ou la diminution temporelle des options de choix futurs. Le domaine du choix prudentiel a été circonscrit à la notion de la compatibilité de choix de positions flexibles ou irréversibles au niveau individuel ou collectif. Préserver la viabilité des institutions constitue l'acte prudentiel par excellence, il est le seul garant de la préservation des espaces de choix des agents dans le temps. La prudence, pour être opérationnelle et considérée comme objet d'étude en théorie économique doit pouvoir être appréhendée, au niveau institutionnel. Toute recherche future dans ce domaine doit s'orienter vers la définition de la compatibilité des rationalités des agents et de celles des institutions. [eng] This text aims mainly at making the economist aware of the necessity to deal with a question which belongs to the sole Law theory — that is to say, the concept of prudence. Implications for economist of such lawyer's preoccupations are evident. Indeed, To enforce by a Treaty, a contract, a convention etc., the necessity of adopting a prudent behavior brings about that the economist should be able to specify the prudent implications of the actions he undertakes. We have limited the notion of prudence to something a little bit abstract : the intertemporal utility linked to the conservation or the diminution of future option of choice. The scope of the prudential choice has been limited to the notion of compatibility or irreversible position at an individual or collective level. Preserving the viability of instituions constitutes the prudential act by «excellence». It only guarantees the preservation of the agents' temporal spaces of choice. Prudence, as an operational tool, has to be dealt to an institutional level. Every future research in this scope must be directed towards the understanding of the compatibility of the individual rationality and collective rationality.

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Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue française d'économie.

Volume (Year): 8 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 37-68

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Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_1993_num_8_3_934
Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.1993.934
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