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Bounded Rationality and Socially Optimal Limits on Choice in A Self-Selection Model

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  • Sheshinski, Eytan

Abstract

When individuals choose from whatever alternatives available to them the one that maximizes their utility then it is always desirable that the government provide them with as many alternatives as possible. Individuals, however, do not always choose what is best for them and their mistakes may be exacerbated by the availability of options. We analyze self-selection models, when individuals know more about themselves than it is possible for governments to know, and show that it may be socially optimal to limit and sometimes to eliminate individual choice. As an example, we apply Luce’s (1959) model of random choice to a work-retirement decision model and show that the optimal provision of choice is positively related to the degree of heterogeneity in the population and that even with very small degrees of non-rationality it may be optimal not to provide individuals any choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Sheshinski, Eytan, 2000. "Bounded Rationality and Socially Optimal Limits on Choice in A Self-Selection Model," MPRA Paper 56141, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2002.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56141
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mirrlees, James A., 1987. "Economic Policy and Nonrational Behavior," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt9tw447ws, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    2. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
    3. ANDERSON, Simon P. & de PALMA, André & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1992. "Interpretations of the logit discrete choice models and the theory of product differentiation," LIDAM Reprints CORE 1017, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    4. Diamond, Peter & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1995. "Economic aspects of optimal disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 1-23, May.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1145-1177, September.
    3. Ravi Kanbur & Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2006. "Non‐Welfarist Optimal Taxation And Behavioural Public Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 849-868, December.
    4. Sergei Mikhalishchev, 2020. "Optimal Menu when Agents Make Mistakes," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp670, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    5. Tyson, Christopher J., 2008. "Cognitive constraints, contraction consistency, and the satisficing criterion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 51-70, January.
    6. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2006. "Optimal sin taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1825-1849, November.
    7. Gil S Epstein, 2012. "Employer’s information and promotion-seeking activities," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 1(4), pages 21-32.
    8. Manuel Amador & Iván Werning & George-Marios Angeletos, 2006. "Commitment vs. Flexibility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(2), pages 365-396, March.
    9. Epstein, Gil S & Gang, Ira, 2002. "Government and Cities: Contests and the Decentralization of Decision Making," CEPR Discussion Papers 3585, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Mattsson, Lars-Göran & Voorneveld, Mark & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2004. "Better may be worse: Some monotonicity results and paradoxes in discrete choice," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 558, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 13 Sep 2006.
    11. Epstein, Gil S. & Gang, Ira N., 2019. "Taxation and social protection under governance decentralisation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    12. Jörgen Weibull & Lars-Göran Mattsson & Mark Voorneveld, 2007. "Better May be Worse: Some Monotonicity Results and Paradoxes in Discrete Choice Under Uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 121-151, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Logit; self-selection; moral-hazard; retirement.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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