IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/dul/wpaper/08-03rs.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith

Author

Listed:
  • Caroline Gerschlager

Abstract

Drawing on Amartya Sen the paper aims at a better understanding of the motivational foundation of the economic agent by analysing Adam Smith’s insights into the foolishness of human ambitions. It inquires whether there is another side to the pursuit of self-interest in Adam Smith and particularly accentuates his parable of the poor man’s son as a prototypical example. Complementing the standard views of the self and their recent extensions, the present analysis of the parable advances a description of economic identity based on selfreflexivity and conscious change of preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline Gerschlager, 2008. "Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith," DULBEA Working Papers 08-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:08-03rs
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/13590/1/dul-0073.pdf
    File Function: dul-0073
    Download Restriction: info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michele Cincera & Lydia Greunz & Jean-Luc Guyot & Olivier Lohest, 2006. "Capital humain et processus de création d'entreprise: le cas des primo-créateurs wallons," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 49(2).
    2. Didier Baudewyns & Benoît Bayenet & Robert Plasman & Catherine Van Den Steen, 2005. "Impact de la fiscalité et des dépenses communales sur la localisation intra-métropolitaine des entreprises et des ménages: Bruxelles et sa périphérie," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8927, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Caroline Gerschlager, 2007. "Adam Smith's account of self-deceit and informal institutions," DULBEA Working Papers 07-10.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Brenda Gannon & Robert Plasman & Francois Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2007. "Inter-Industry Wage Differentials and the Gender Wage Gap: Evidence from European Countries," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 38(1), pages 135-155.
    5. Plasman, Robert & Rusinek, Michael & Rycx, Francois, 2006. "Wages and the Bargaining Regime under Multi-level Bargaining: Belgium, Denmark and Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 1990, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Michele Cincera, 2005. "The link between firms' R&D by type of activity and source of funding and the decision to patent," DULBEA Working Papers 05-10.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Alan Kirman & Miriam Teschl, 2006. "Searching for identity in the capability space," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 299-325.
    8. Giuseppe Diana & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2008. "Monetary Policy in the Presence of Asymmetric Wage Indexation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 69-90, July.
    9. Chapelle, Ariane & Szafarz, Ariane, 2005. "Controlling firms through the majority voting rule," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 355(2), pages 509-529.
    10. Lallemand, Thierry & Plasman, Robert & Rycx, Francois, 2005. "Women and Competition in Elimination Tournaments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1843, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2009. "Wage Structure and Firm Productivity in Belgium," NBER Chapters,in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 179-215 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Khalil, Elias L., 1999. "Sentimental fools: a critique of Amartya Sen's notion of commitment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 373-386, December.
    13. Amynah Vanessa Gangji & Robert Plasman, 2007. "The Matthew effect of unemployment: how does it affect wages in Belgium," DULBEA Working Papers 07-19.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. Michele Cincera, 2011. "Déterminants des oppositions de brevets. Une analyse microéconomique au niveau belge," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 62(1), pages 87-99.
    15. Amynah Gangji & Robert Plasman, 2008. "Microeconomic analysis of unemployment persistence in Belgium," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 280-298, June.
    16. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2007. "The establishment-size wage premium: evidence from European countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(5), pages 427-451, December.
    17. Ariane Szafarz, 2007. "Hiring people-like-yourself: a representation of discrimination on the job market," DULBEA Working Papers 07-21.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    18. Maria Jepsen & Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2005. "The wage penalty induced by part-time work: the case of Belgium," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 48(1-2), pages 73-94.
    19. Evensky,Jerry, 2005. "Adam Smith's Moral Philosophy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521852470.
    20. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Khalid Sekkat, 2008. "Institutional Quality And Trade: Which Institutions? Which Trade?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 227-240, April.
    21. Klamer, Arjo, 1989. "A Conversation with Amartya Sen," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 135-150, Winter.
    22. Michel Beine & Pierre-Yves Preumont & Ariane Szafarz, 2006. "Sector diversification during crises: a European perspective," DULBEA Working Papers 06-07.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    23. Pierre-Guillaume Meon & Laurent Weill, 2005. "Can mergers in Europe help banks hedge against macroeconomic risk?," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5), pages 315-326.
    24. Ilan Tojerow & Robert Plasman & Michael Rusinek, 2007. "La structure des salaires en Belgique," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8825, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    25. Marc Levy, 2006. "Control in Pyramidal Structures," Working Papers CEB 06-023.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    26. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    27. T. Biebuyck & Ariane Chapelle & Ariane Szafarz, 2002. "Les leviers de contrôle des actionnaires majoritaires," Working Papers CEB 03-001.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    28. Delannay, Anne-France & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, 2006. "The Impact of European Integration on the Nineties’ Wave of Mergers and Acquisitions," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 21, pages 426-446.
    29. Janine Leschke, 2007. "Are unemployment insurance systems in Europe adapting to new risks arising from non-standard employment?," DULBEA Working Papers 07-05.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    30. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2002. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-3, January.
    31. Khalid Sekkat & Marie-Ange Veganzones, 2005. "Trade and foreign exchange liberalization, investment climate and FDI in the MENA," DULBEA Working Papers 05-06.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    32. Coase, R H, 1976. "Adam Smith's Views of Man," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 529-546, October.
    33. Jean Luc De Meulemeester, 2007. "L'économie de l'éducation fait-elle des progrès? Une perspective d'histoire de la pensée économique," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(1), pages 89-111.
    34. Olga Bourachnikova, 2007. "Weighting Function in the Behavioral Portfolio Theory," Working Papers CEB 07-011.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    35. Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. Régis Blazy & Laurent Weill, 2006. "The Impact of Legal Sanctions on Moral Hazard when Debt Contracts are Renegotiable," LSF Research Working Paper Series 06-09, Luxembourg School of Finance, University of Luxembourg.
    37. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    38. Oscar Bernal Diaz & Jean-Yves Gnabo, 2007. "Talks, financial operations or both? Generalizing central banks' FX reaction functions," DULBEA Working Papers 07-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    39. Bernal, Oscar & Gnabo, Jean-Yves, 2009. "Announcements, financial operations or both? Generalizing central banks' FX reaction functions," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 367-394, December.
    40. Robert Plasman & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2007. "Wage differentials in Belgium: the role of worker and employer characteristics," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 50(1), pages 11-40.
    41. Levy, David M. & Peart, Sandra J., 2004. "Sympathy And Approbation In Hume And Smith: A Solution To The Other Rational Species Problem," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(02), pages 331-349, October.
    42. Beine, Michel & Bernal, Oscar, 2007. "Why do central banks intervene secretly?: Preliminary evidence from the BoJ," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 291-306, July.
    43. Michele Cincera & Verena Bikar & Henri Capron, 2006. "An integrated evaluation scheme of innovation systems from an institutional perspective," DULBEA Working Papers 06-09.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    44. Vriend, Nicolaas J., 1996. "Rational behavior and economic theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 263-285, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hassan Ayoub & Jérôme Creel & Etienne Farvaque, 2008. "Détermination du niveau des prix et finances: le cas du Liban 1965-2005," DULBEA Working Papers 08-10.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Jean-Luc Demeulemeester & Olivier Debande, 2008. "Quality and Variety Competition in Higher Education," Working Papers 08-10, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    3. Benoît Mahy & François Rycx & Mélanie Volral, 2008. "L'influence de la dispersion salariale sur la performance des grandes entreprises belges," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(3), pages 27-40.
    4. Bernal, Oscar & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2010. "Observing bailout expectations during a total eclipse of the sun," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1193-1205, November.
    5. Charles Plaigin, 2009. "Exploratory study on the presence of cultural and institutional growth spillovers," DULBEA Working Papers 09-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2008. "Pay inequality in 25 European countries," DULBEA Working Papers 0006, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "Labor market discrimination as an agency cost," DULBEA Working Papers 08-19.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Pecchenino, Rowena A., 2009. "Becoming: Identity and spirituality," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 31-36, January.
    9. Abdeslam Marfouk, 2008. "The African brain drain: scope and determinants," DULBEA Working Papers 08-07.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hypertrophic self-love; self-deceit; illusion; change of preference; self-reflexivity.;

    JEL classification:

    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:08-03rs. 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: (Benoit Pauwels). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dulbebe.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.