IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Replacing Neo-Classical Maximization in the Realm of Human Action

Listed author(s):
  • Pierre Bentata


    (CERGAM-CAE, Aix-Marseille Université)

The aim of this paper is to propose an original articulation of neoclassical and Austrian understanding of human behaviours into one logical sequence of “human process of decision”. We claim the methodological debate among economists on the representation of human action is due to a wrong interpretation of both neoclassical and Austrian economics: these two methodologies do not study the same step of human action. Far from being opposed, neoclassical and Austrian concepts of rationality and maximization can be articulated in a logical understanding of why and how do people act, and gathered into a global frame within neoclassical maximization is the conclusion, the final step, of the Austrian decision process. From this economic frame, we deduce a normative definition of economic efficiency and draw severe critics of neoclassical concepts of efficiency and redistributive justice as potential normative goals of economics. Besides, this conclusion leads to the definition of a new role for the economist in Law & Economics analysis: neoclassical economics should be used carefully and in very specific situation to enhance existing legal rules based upon non-economic goals, but never as a way to design laws according to their economic efficiency.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2009
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Aix-Marseille Université, CERGAM in its series CAE Working Papers with number 63.

in new window

Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Handle: RePEc:cgm:wpaper:63
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Clos Guiot Puyricard - CS 30063, 13089 Aix en Provence Cedex 2

Phone: 04 42 28 12 08
Fax: +33 (0)4 42 28 08 00
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Boland, Lawrence A, 1981. "On the Futility of Criticizing the Neoclassical Maximization Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 1031-1036, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cgm:wpaper:63. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mathieu Bédard)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.