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Behavioural Decisions and Welfare

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  • Dalton, Patricio; Ghosal, Sayantan

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

What are the normative implications of behavioral economics? We study a model where the decisions a person makes, consciously or unconsciously, affect her psychological state (reference point, beliefs, expectations, self-image) which, in turn, impacts on her ranking over available decisions in the first place. We distinguish between standard decisions where the decision-maker internalizes the feedback from her actions to her psychological state, and behavioural decisions where the psychological state is taken as given (although a decision outcome requires that action and psychological state are mutually consistent). In a behavioural decision, the individual imposes an externality on herself. We provide an axiomatic characterization of behavioral decisions. We show that the testable implications of behavioral and standard decisions are different and the outcomes of the two decision problems are, typically, distinguishable. We discuss the consequences for public policy of our formal analysis and over normative grounds for subsidized psychological therapies

Suggested Citation

  • Dalton, Patricio; Ghosal, Sayantan, 2010. "Behavioural Decisions and Welfare," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 06, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:06
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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/06.2010_ghosal_revised.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dalton, Patricio S. & Ghosal, Sayantan, 2013. "Characterizing Behavioral Decisions with Choice Datas," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-86, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2010. "Behavioral welfare economics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 123-151, June.
    3. Patricio Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal, 2012. "Decisions with endogenous frames," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(4), pages 585-600, April.
    4. Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal & Anandi Mani, 2016. "Poverty and Aspirations Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 165-188, February.
    5. Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal, 2011. "Behavioral Decisions and Policy," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(4), pages 560-580, December.
    6. Marc Fleurbaey & Erik Schokkaert, 2013. "Behavioral Welfare Economics and Redistribution," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 180-205, August.
    7. Dalton, P.S. & Ghosal, S., 2010. "Decisions with Endogenous Frames (Replaces CentER DP 2010-21)," Discussion Paper 2010-142, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    8. FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2011. "Behavioral fair social choice," CORE Discussion Papers 2011043, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2010. "Moody Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 5005, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Peter Kooreman & Henriëtte Prast, 2010. "What Does Behavioral Economics Mean for Policy? Challenges to Savings and Health Policies in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(2), pages 101-122, June.
    11. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2015. "State dependent choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(2), pages 239-268, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioural Decisions; Indistinguishabilty; revealed preferences; normative preferences; welfare; paternalism; autonomy; existence;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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