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The notion of addiction in economics and its challenge to the theory of rational choice
[La notion d'addiction en économie : la théorie du choix rationnel à l'épreuve]

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  • Sophie Massin

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyze the economic literature from the last thirty years in the field of addiction and to study its relation to the theory of rational choice (TRC). We show that the application of the TRC to addictive behaviors appeared in a context of reciprocity of stakes, i.e. the promotion of this theoretical framework and the explanation of this a priori irrational behavior. It allowed to emphasize the major influence of economic determinants such as prices, which were previously excluded from the analysis. Recent developments of the economic theory of addiction, via behavioral economics in particular, lead however to operate a distinction between revealed preferences and normative preferences and limit the use of the TRC in a normative perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Massin, 2008. "The notion of addiction in economics and its challenge to the theory of rational choice [La notion d'addiction en économie : la théorie du choix rationnel à l'épreuve]," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00331284, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00331284
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00331284
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    References listed on IDEAS

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