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Rationality, External Norms and the Epistemic Value of Menus

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  • BOSSERT, Walter
  • SUZUMURA, Kotaro

Abstract

Ever since Sen’s (1993; 1997) criticism on the notion of internal consistency or menu independence of choice, there exists a widespread perception that the standard revealed preference approach to the theory of rational choice has difficulties in coping with the existence of external norms, or the information a menu of choice might convey to a decision-maker, viz., the epistemic value of a menu. This paper provides a brief survey of possible responses to these criticisms of traditional rational choice theory. It is shown that a novel concept of norm-conditional rationalizability can neatly accommodate external norms within the standard framework of rationalizability theory. Furthermore, we illustrate that there are several ways of incorporating considerations regarding the epistemic value of opportunity sets into a generalized model of rational choice theory.

Suggested Citation

  • BOSSERT, Walter & SUZUMURA, Kotaro, 2008. "Rationality, External Norms and the Epistemic Value of Menus," Cahiers de recherche 2008-09, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2008-09
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/2577
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    1. repec:spr:grdene:v:23:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s10726-013-9343-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Shintaro Tamate, 2015. "External Norms and Systematically Observed Norms," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 247-259, June.
    3. Dan Qin, 2015. "On justifiable choice functions over opportunity sets," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(2), pages 269-285, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations

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