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Money Pumps and Bounded Rationality


  • Joshua Lanier
  • Matthew Polisson
  • John K. -H. Quah


The standard criterion of rationality in economics is the maximization of a utility function that is stable across multiple observations of an agent's choice behavior. In this paper, we discuss two notions of the money pump that characterize two corresponding notions of utility-maximization. We explain the senses in which the amount of money that can be pumped from a consumer is a useful measure of the consumer's departure from utility-maximization.

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  • Joshua Lanier & Matthew Polisson & John K. -H. Quah, 2024. "Money Pumps and Bounded Rationality," Papers 2404.04843,
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2404.04843

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yoram Halevy & Dotan Persitz & Lanny Zrill, 2018. "Parametric Recoverability of Preferences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1558-1593.
    2. Federico Echenique & Sangmok Lee & Matthew Shum, 2011. "The Money Pump as a Measure of Revealed Preference Violations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(6), pages 1201-1223.
    3. Mark Dean & Daniel Martin, 2016. "Measuring Rationality with the Minimum Cost of Revealed Preference Violations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 524-534, July.
    4. W. E. Diewert, 1973. "Afriat and Revealed Preference Theory," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 40(3), pages 419-425.
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