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Social identity strategies in recent economics

This paper reviews three distinct strategies in recent economics for using the concept of social identity in the explanation of individual behavior: Akerlof and Kranton's neoclassical approach, Sen's commitment approach and Kirman et al.'s complexity approach. The primary focus is the multiple selves problem and the difficulties associated with failing to explain social identity and personal identity together. The argument of the paper is that too narrow a scope for reflexivity in individual decision-making renders the problem intractable, but that enlarging this scope makes it possible to explain personal and social identity together in connection with an individual behavior termed comparative value-objective evaluation. The paper concludes with recommendations for treating the individual objective function as a production function.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 371-390

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:13:y:2006:i:3:p:371-390
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  1. John B. Davis, 2007. "Akerlof and Kranton on identity in economics: inverting the analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3), pages 349-362, May.
  2. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  3. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:715-753 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
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