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Consumer Choice Theory and Social Learning

Author

Listed:
  • Anaïs Carlin

    (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France
    GREDEG CNRS)

Abstract

In this paper we formalize learning as a determinant of individual choice. We model economic agent as an individual who makes her choice according to a specific set of experiences, which evolves over time as the agent learns from both her personal history and her social environment. We link preferences to choices through the notion of hierarchy of wants. We present an axiomatic characterization, inspired by Georgescu-Roegen (1950, 1954), of the individual choice mechanism in a social environment. Following these axioms, we show that an agent may change her choice from one period to another and remain nonetheless rational. The learning mechanism allows for the modification of individual preference ordering over time as well as it implies irreversibility, in the sense that economic changes leave a mark in the decision making process.

Suggested Citation

  • Anaïs Carlin, 2014. "Consumer Choice Theory and Social Learning," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-13, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2014-13
    as

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    File URL: http://www.gredeg.cnrs.fr/working-papers/GREDEG-WP-2014-13.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Franz Dietrich & Christian List, 2013. "Where do preferences come from?," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 42(3), pages 613-637, August.
    3. Cynamon Barry Z. & Fazzari Steven M., 2008. "Household Debt in the Consumer Age: Source of Growth--Risk of Collapse," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-32, October.
    4. Gowdy, John M. & Mayumi, Kozo, 2001. "Reformulating the foundations of consumer choice theory and environmental valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 223-237, November.
    5. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preference formation; preference change; learning; path dependency;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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