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Behavioural Decisions and Welfare

  • Dalton, Patricio

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Ghosal, Sayantan

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

We study decision problems where (a) preference parameters are defined to include psychological/moral considerations and (b) there is a feedback effect from chosen actions to preference parameters. In a standard decision problem the chosen action is required to be optimal when the feedback effect from actions to preference parameters is fully taken into account. In a behavioural decision problem the chosen action is optimal taking preference parameters as given although chosen actions and preference parameters are required to be mutually consistent. Our framework unifes seemingly disconnected papers in the literature. We characterize the conditions under which behavioural and standard decisions problems are indistinguishable : in smooth settings, the two decision problems are generically distinguishable. We show that in general, revealed preferences cannot be used for making welfare judgements and we characterize the conditions under which they can inform welfare analysis. We provide an existence result for the case of incomplete preferences. We suggest novel implications for policy and welfare analysis.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp_834.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 834.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:834
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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  1. Botond Kőszegi, 2010. "Utility from anticipation and personal equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 415-444, September.
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  4. Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
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  8. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  9. Beshears, John Leonard & Choi, James J. & Laibson, David I. & Madrian, Brigitte, 2008. "How Are Preferences Revealed?," Scholarly Articles 11130523, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Milgrom, P. & Shannon, C., 1991. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Papers 11, Stanford - Institute for Thoretical Economics.
  11. Shafer, Wayne & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1975. "Equilibrium in abstract economies without ordered preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 345-348, December.
  12. Hammond, Peter J., 1976. "Endogenous tastes and stable long-run choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 329-340, October.
  13. Masatlioglu, Yusufcan & Ok, Efe A., 2005. "Rational choice with status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 1-29, March.
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  15. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  16. Patricio Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal, 2012. "Decisions with endogenous frames," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 585-600, April.
  17. Mandler, Michael, 2005. "Incomplete preferences and rational intransitivity of choice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 255-277, February.
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  20. Sen, Amartya K, 1971. "Choice Functions and Revealed Preference," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(115), pages 307-17, July.
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  25. repec:dgr:kubcen:2011124 is not listed on IDEAS
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