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The Structure of Neoclassical Consumer Theory


  • Alan G. Isaac

    (American University)


This paper offers an accessible introductory survey of the application of abstract choice theory to consumer theory. In the process, the paper identifires---somewhat more carefully than is usual in the literature--- the relatively small role of the rationality postulates and the relatively large role of the ad hoc assumptions that are required to produce the minimal structure of neoclassical consumer theory. (This structure is that Marshallian demand obeys the weak axiom of revealed preference in budget data). Finally, this paper serves as a reminder that economists should abandon the behaviorist aspirations and claims that they have repeatedly, but incorrectly, associated with abstract choice theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan G. Isaac, 1998. "The Structure of Neoclassical Consumer Theory," Microeconomics 9805003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:9805003
    Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP;

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    More about this item


    abstract choice theory; consumer theory; neoclassical economics;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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