Choice and Action
In this essay, we argue that the rational choice (RC) provides an inadequate foundation for a theory of economic action. After defining RC sufficiently broadly to encompass much of the bounded rationality literature as well as neoclassical optimization theory, we present three principal arguments against RC. The first is cognitive: economic actors are experts at what they do, and the cognitive processes that underlie expertise are not consistent with RC, descriptively, prescriptively or positively. The second argument begins with the observation that economic action takes place in and through relationships between agents, and these relationships may generate actions that cannot be localized to individual agents. We argue that these generative relationships are essential to understanding such fundamental economic phenomena as innovation, and the actions that result from them are not amenable to analysis from a RC perspective. Finally, we argue that most economic agents lack the judgment and execution coherence required by RC. In a companion paper, we propose an alternative foundation for a theory of economic action that builds on the critique of RC presented in this paper.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
|Date of creation:||Jan 1995|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501|
Web page: http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/working-papers.html
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:95-01-004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.