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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

This article analyzes the economic literature of the last forty years in the field of addiction and studies its relation to the theory of rational choice. It emphasizes the structuring role of the theory of rational addiction developed by Becker and Murphy [1988]. This theory constitutes both a technical achievement thanks to the formalization of the essential features of addiction using a framework with endogenous preferences complying with the hypotheses of the theory of rational choice and a revolution in the way to perceive addiction, which is no more an unwanted behavior, but the outcome of a cost-benefit calculus in the long run. Evidence of its empirical validation however tends to be weak. This emphasizes the limitations of a purely logical approach to addiction. Interdisciplinary collaborations with psychology and neurobiology are at the heart of recent initiatives for a better understanding of these behaviors.
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  • Sophie Massin, 2011. "La notion d'addiction en économie : la théorie du choix rationnel à l'épreuve," Post-Print hal-00671266, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00671266
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00671266
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    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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