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Multiple-self models in neuroeconomics. A methodological critique

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  • Marco Stimolo

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Abstract

The idea of multiple-self models in economics is that individual identity is the equilibrium result of the strategic interaction between sub-personal selves. These models fill the gap of standard rational choice theory in explaining inter-temporal inconsistency of choices. This modelling procedure requires an extension of revealed preference theory to the sub-personal level. This extension is grounded in the assumption that sub-personal selves are economic agents to whom analytical tools of microeconomics apply. I claim that this assumption is false and entails the empirical methodology of functional localization that fails to provide robust results.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Stimolo, 2012. "Multiple-self models in neuroeconomics. A methodological critique," ICER Working Papers 07-2012, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:07-2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul William Glimcher & Kenway Louie & Joseph Kable, 2007. "Neuroeconomic Studies of Impulsivity: Now or Just as Soon as Possible?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 142-147, May.
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    3. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    4. Nathan Berg & Gerd Gigerenzer, 2010. "As-if behavioral economics: neoclassical economics in disguise?," History of Economic Ideas, Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma, vol. 18(1), pages 133-166.
    5. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
    6. Guala,Francesco, 2005. "The Methodology of Experimental Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521618618, March.
    7. Aldo Rustichini, 2009. "Is There a Method of Neuroeconomics?," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 48-59, August.
    8. Don Ross, 2007. "Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262681684, January.
    9. Marieke van Rooij & Guy Van Orden, 2011. "It's about Space, It's about Time, Neuroeconomics and the Brain Sublime," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 31-56, Fall.
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    Keywords

    Multiple-self; rationality; as if; functional localization; robustness;

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