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Behavioral Economics versus Traditional Economics: Are They Very Different?

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  • Chang, Kuo-Ping

Abstract

Behavioral economics, notably developed by Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky and Richard Thaler, has found consistent and pervasive anomalies in common people’s daily behaviors. This paper has employed the concepts in traditional economics (e.g., choice, relative price, and opportunity cost) to analyze the anomalies found in behavioral economics. The results show that quite a few anomalies, such as preference reversal, isolation effect and sunk cost fallacy, do not exist. This is not to say that people always make rational choices. The findings of the paper conclude, however, that common people may not be as irrational as behavioral economists have suggested (in some situations, common people may act more like a rational economist).

Suggested Citation

  • Chang, Kuo-Ping, 2019. "Behavioral Economics versus Traditional Economics: Are They Very Different?," MPRA Paper 96561, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:96561
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/96561/1/MPRA_paper_96561.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Colin Camerer & Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein & Richard Thaler, 1997. "Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers: One Day at a Time," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 407-441.
    2. Jack L. Knetsch & J. A. Sinden, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-521.
    3. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1992. "Advances in Prospect Theory: Cumulative Representation of Uncertainty," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 297-323, October.
    4. Richard H. Thaler & Eric J. Johnson, 1990. "Gambling with the House Money and Trying to Break Even: The Effects of Prior Outcomes on Risky Choice," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 643-660, June.
    5. Daniel Friedman & Kai Pommerenke & Rajan Lukose & Garrett Milam & Bernardo Huberman, 2007. "Searching for the sunk cost fallacy," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(1), pages 79-104, March.
    6. Shafir, Eldar & Thaler, Richard H., 2006. "Invest now, drink later, spend never: On the mental accounting of delayed consumption," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 694-712, October.
    7. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    8. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-1348, December.
    9. Gourville, John T & Soman, Dilip, 1998. " Payment Depreciation: The Behavioral Effects of Temporally Separating Payments from Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 160-174, September.
    10. David R Just & Brian Wansink, 2011. "The Flat-Rate Pricing Paradox: Conflicting Effects of "“All-You-Can-Eat"” Buffet Pricing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 193-200, February.
    11. repec:aea:aecrev:v:108:y:2018:i:6:p:1265-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Hanemann, W Michael, 1991. "Willingness to Pay and Willingness to Accept: How Much Can They Differ?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 635-647, June.
    13. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
    14. Nicholas C. Barberis, 2013. "Thirty Years of Prospect Theory in Economics: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 173-196, Winter.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Choice; sunk cost fallacy; relative price ratio (rate of return); prospect theory; endowment effect.;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics

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