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Homo Economicus vs. Human Being: Outcomes of Irrationality


  • Shoko Yamane
  • Hiroyasu Yoneda
  • Yoshiro Tsutsui


This paper investigates the individual outcomes of irrational thinking, including paranormality and non-scientific thinking. These modes of thinking are identified by factor analysis from a 2008 survey. Income and happiness are used as measures of performance. Empirical results reveal that non-scientific thinking lowers income, whereas paranormality does not affect it. While non-scientific thinking lowers happiness, paranormality raises it. Extending the model, we find that higher ability and self-control result in higher income and happiness. Selfishness raises income, but diminishes happiness. These results suggest that Homo economicus generally achieves higher individual performance, except that belief in paranormality raises happiness.

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  • Shoko Yamane & Hiroyasu Yoneda & Yoshiro Tsutsui, 2012. "Homo Economicus vs. Human Being: Outcomes of Irrationality," ISER Discussion Paper 0844, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0844

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    1. Eduardo Wills, 2009. "Spirituality and Subjective Well-Being: Evidences for a New Domain in the Personal Well-Being Index," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 49-69, March.
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    4. Adam Cohen, 2002. "The Importance of Spirituality in Well-Being for Jews and Christians," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 287-310, September.
    5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    6. De Long, J Bradford & Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers & Robert J. Waldmann, 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 703-738, August.
    7. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2001. "Boys will be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 261-292.
    8. Phelps, Charlotte D., 2001. "A clue to the paradox of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 293-300, July.
    9. Clark, Andrew E., 2007. "Born To Be Mild? Cohort Effects Don’t (Fully) Explain Why Well-Being Is U-Shaped in Age," IZA Discussion Papers 3170, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
    11. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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    Cited by:

    1. K. Ali Akkemik & Mehmet Bulut & Marcus Dittrich & Koray Göksal & Kristina Leipold & Masao Ogaki, 2017. "Worldviews and Intergenerational Altruism: A Comparison of Turkish People Living in Turkey and Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 6404, CESifo Group Munich.

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