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The New Science of Pleasure

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  • Daniel L. McFadden

Abstract

Economists since the days of Adam Smith and Jeremy Bentham have traditionally viewed consumers as driven by relentless and consistent pursuit of self-interest, with their choices in the marketplace providing all the measurements needed to reveal their preferences and assess their well-being. This theory of consumer choice is empirically successful, and provides the foundation for most economic policy. However, the traditional view is now being challenged by evidence from cognitive psychology, anthropology, evolutionary biology, and neurology. This paper begins by surveying the origins of neoclassical consumer choice theory and recent developments. Following this, it reviews the newer evidence on consumer behavior, and what this implies for the measurement of consumer choice behavior and well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel L. McFadden, 2013. "The New Science of Pleasure," NBER Working Papers 18687, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18687
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The new science of pleasure. Consumer choice behavior and the measurement of well being
      by ? in Tiempo Económico on 2013-03-21 16:33:48
    2. Notes for April 26th Macro lecture
      by Gray in Pseudo-true News on 2013-04-27 03:33:03

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Schleicher, 2015. "Deepening the scope of the “economic model”: Functionalities, structures, mechanisms, and institutions," WWWforEurope Policy Paper series 24, WWWforEurope.
    2. Raïsa Basselier & Geert Langenus, 2014. "Recent changes in saving behaviour by Belgian households : the impact of uncertainty," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iii, pages 53-62, December.
    3. A. Mantovi, 2013. "On the geometry of luxury," Economics Department Working Papers 2013-EP02, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    4. repec:nbb:ecrart:y:2014:m:december:i:iii:p:55-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Anirban Chakraborti & Damien Challet & Arnab Chatterjee & Matteo Marsili & Yi-Cheng Zhang & Bikas K. Chakrabarti, 2013. "Statistical Mechanics of Competitive Resource Allocation using Agent-based Models," Papers 1305.2121, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2014.
    6. Brendan Markey-Towler, 2016. "Law of the jungle: firm survival and price dynamics in evolutionary markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 655-696, July.

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    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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