IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jecmet/v11y2004i1p1-29.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The rationality postulate in economics: its ambiguity, its deficiency and its evolutionary alternative

Author

Listed:
  • Viktor Vanberg

Abstract

Though the rationality postulate is generally considered the paradigmatic core of economics, there is little agreement about its specific content and methodological status. This paper seeks to clarify some of the ambiguity surrounding the postulate by drawing a distinction between the non-refutable, purely heuristic rationality principle and refutable rationality hypotheses. An alternative, evolutionary outlook at purposeful human behavior is outlined that captures much of what makes the rationality postulate attractive to economists but avoids the ambiguities that have made it the subject of enduring controversy.

Suggested Citation

  • Viktor Vanberg, 2004. "The rationality postulate in economics: its ambiguity, its deficiency and its evolutionary alternative," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:11:y:2004:i:1:p:1-29
    DOI: 10.1080/1350178042000177987
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1350178042000177987
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1080/1350178042000177987?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Pelikan, Pavel, 2006. "Markets vs. Government when Rationality Is Unequally Bounded: Some Consequences of Cognitive Inequalities for Theory and Policy," Ratio Working Papers 85, The Ratio Institute, revised 03 Sep 2006.
    2. Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2013. "The Weak Rationality Principle in Economics," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 149(I), pages 1-26, March.
    3. Katalin Martinas & Agoston Reguly, 2013. "Reappraisal of Rational Choice Theory," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 11(1), pages 14-28.
    4. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2008. "On the Economics of Moral Preferences," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 605-628, October.
    5. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2007. "Rationality, Rule-Following and Emotions: On the Economics of Moral Preferences," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-21, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    6. Markus Pasche, 2008. "Zum Erklärungsgehalt der verhaltensorientierten Spieltheorie," Jena Research Papers in Business and Economics - Working and Discussion Papers (Expired!) 04/2008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration.
    7. Pasche, Markus, 2014. "Soft Paternalism and Nudging - Critique of the Behavioral Foundations," MPRA Paper 61140, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Ingrao Bruna, 2004. "The Equilibrium Image of the Market," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-20, December.
    9. Simon Deakin & David Gindis & Geoffrey M. Hodgson & Kainan Huang & Katharina Pistor, 2015. "Legal Institutionalism: Capitalism & the Constitutive Role of Law," Working Papers wp468, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    10. V. J. Vanberg, 2004. "Human Intentionality and Design In Cultural Evolution," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2004-02, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    11. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2013. "Cooperation in multilateral PDs: self-selected vs pre-defined groups," Chapters, in: Francisco Cabrillo & Miguel A. Puchades-Navarro (ed.), Constitutional Economics and Public Institutions, chapter 15, pages 279-296, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Marek Hudik, 2020. "Equilibrium as compatibility of plans," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 89(3), pages 349-368, October.
    13. Budzinski, Oliver & Pawlowski, Tim, 2014. "The behavioural economics of competitive balance: Implications for league policy and championship management," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 89, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    14. Gindis, David & Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Huang, Kainan & Pistor, Katharina, 2017. "Legal institutionalism: Capitalism and the constitutive role of lawAuthor-Name: Deakin, Simon," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 188-200.
    15. Schluter, Achim, 2007. "Institutional change in the forestry sector--The explanatory potential of New Institutional Economics," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(8), pages 1090-1099, May.
    16. Wood, Aaron D. & Mason, Charles F. & Finnoff, David, 2016. "OPEC, the Seven Sisters, and oil market dominance: An evolutionary game theory and agent-based modeling approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PB), pages 66-78.
    17. Pelikan, Pavel, 2007. "Public Choice with Unequally Rational Individuals," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 07/2, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    18. Marek Hudik, 0. "Equilibrium as compatibility of plans," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    19. Baker, Rachel Mairi, 2006. "Economic rationality and health and lifestyle choices for people with diabetes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(9), pages 2341-2353, November.
    20. Alexander W. Salter & William J. Luther, 2019. "Adaptation and central banking," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 180(3), pages 243-256, September.
    21. Philipp Schreck & Dominik Aaken & Karl Homann, 2020. "“There’s Life in the Old Dog Yet”: The Homo economicus model and its value for behavioral ethics," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 90(3), pages 401-425, April.
    22. Hans Albert, 2006. "Die ökonomische Tradition und die Verfassung der Wissenschaft," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 7(s1), pages 113-131, May.
    23. Vanberg, Viktor J., 2007. "Rational choice, preferences over actions and rule-following behavior," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 07/6, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:11:y:2004:i:1:p:1-29. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJEC20 .

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Chris Longhurst (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJEC20 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.