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Searching for identity in the capability space

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Listed:
  • Alan Kirman
  • Miriam Teschl

Abstract

In this paper, we consider the extension of the conception of the economic agent as a person who chooses particular actions in relation to his or her social identity. We do this in particular by analysing Akerlof and Kranton's recent models on 'economics and identity' (2000). Amartya Sen has over the years consistently pointed out that a person might have different reasons to choose, including not only those that increase a person's self-interested utility, however broadly this self might be defined. The question then is how should one assess a person's well-being if her choices are not based on the maximisation of her 'own' utility. Against the background of these considerations, we will present our own analysis of the economic agent's identity, which is motivated not by the self-interested choices, but by achieving consistency between one's characteristics and one's desired self-image through participation in different social groups. We propose to situate this identity-conception in a space of capabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2006. "Searching for identity in the capability space," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 299-325.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:13:y:2006:i:3:p:299-325 DOI: 10.1080/13501780600908200
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1167-1201.
    3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    4. John Davis, 1995. "Personal identity and standard economic theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 35-52.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ulrich Horst & Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2006. "Changing Identity: The Emergence of Social Groups," Working Papers halshs-00410853, HAL.
    2. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Formation and persistence of oppositional identities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(8), pages 1046-1071.
    3. Anaïs Carlin, 2014. "Consumer Choice Theory and Social Learning," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-13, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    4. Nick Drydakis, 2013. "The effect of ethnic identity on the employment of immigrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 285-308, June.
    5. Caroline Gerschlager, 2008. "Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith," DULBEA Working Papers 08-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Lombardini-Riipinen, Chiara & Lankoski, Leena, 2010. "Take off the heater: Utility effect and food environment effect in food consumption decisions," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116431, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Pecchenino, Rowena A., 2009. "Becoming: Identity and spirituality," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 31-36, January.
    8. repec:hal:journl:dumas-00906152 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Rullani, Francesco & Haefliger, Stefan, 2013. "The periphery on stage: The intra-organizational dynamics in online communities of creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 941-953.
    10. Thomas Jeitschko & Seamus O'Connell & Rowena Pecchenino, 2008. "Generalised Means of Simple Utility Functions with Risk Aversion," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 39(1), pages 39-54.
    11. Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Dragging developers towards the core," KITeS Working Papers 190, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Feb 2007.

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