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Behavioural Foundations

In: Economics for Sustainable Prosperity


  • Steven Hail

    (University of Adelaide)


All economics has psychological foundations. In the case of modern orthodox economics, those foundations involve expected utility maximisation by a radical individualist with unlimited cognitive capacity, and sufficient information about the economic environment to never make errors which are theoretically avoidable. This is bad psychology. It is bad, because this is not an accurate description of how real people generally understand the world, react to their environment, make decisions or develop feelings of subjective well-being. This chapter describes a better set of psychological foundations for economics, which have important implications for public policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Hail, 2018. "Behavioural Foundations," Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, in: Economics for Sustainable Prosperity, chapter 0, pages 101-140, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:bifchp:978-3-319-90981-3_4
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-90981-3_4

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