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Normative notions in descriptive dialogues

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  • Chris Starmer

Abstract

Developments in the theory of individual decision-making have been partly shaped by two criteria: a desire for models consistent with experimental evidence; and a pre-commitment to models built on normatively appealing axioms. This paper explores the compatibility of these two selection criteria. The paper reconstructs and scrutinises an argument due to Friedman and Savage asserting that the normative appeal of axioms provides a source of 'indirect' evidence. I judge their argument questionable and, at best, incomplete. As such it does not provide a convincing rationale for normative appeal to be used as a criterion for selection among descriptive theories.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Starmer, 2005. "Normative notions in descriptive dialogues," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 277-289.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:2:p:277-289 DOI: 10.1080/13501780500086206
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Nathan & Biele, Guido & Gigerenzer, Gerd, 2010. "Does consistency predict accuracy of beliefs?: Economists surveyed about PSA," MPRA Paper 26590, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Fiore, Annamaria, 2009. "Experimental Economics: Some Methodological Notes," MPRA Paper 12498, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Berg, Nathan, 2010. "Behavioral Economics," MPRA Paper 26587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Sophie Jallais & Pierre-Charles Pradier & David Teira, 2008. "Facts, Norms and Expected Utility Functions," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00274361, HAL.
    5. Laure Cabantous & Denis Hilton, 2006. "De l'aversion à l'ambiguïté aux attitudes face à l'ambiguïté. Les apports d'une perspective psychologique en économie," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(2), pages 259-280.
    6. Dorian Jullien, 2013. "Asian Disease-type of Framing of Outcomes as an Historical Curiosity," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-47, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

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