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Behavioural Decisions and Welfare

Author

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  • Dalton, Patricio

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Ghosal, Sayantan

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalton, Patricio & Ghosal, Sayantan, 2008. "Behavioural Decisions and Welfare," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 834, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:834
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dalton, Patricio S. & Ghosal, Sayantan, 2013. "Characterizing Behavioral Decisions with Choice Datas," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-86, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. B. Douglas Bernheim, 2010. "Behavioral welfare economics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, pages 123-151.
    3. Patricio Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal, 2012. "Decisions with endogenous frames," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 38(4), pages 585-600, April.
    4. Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal & Anandi Mani, 2016. "Poverty and Aspirations Failure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 165-188, February.
    5. Patricio S. Dalton & Sayantan Ghosal, 2011. "Behavioral Decisions and Policy," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 57(4), pages 560-580, December.
    6. Marc Fleurbaey & Erik Schokkaert, 2013. "Behavioral Welfare Economics and Redistribution," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 180-205.
    7. Dalton, P.S. & Ghosal, S., 2010. "Decisions with Endogenous Frames (Replaces CentER DP 2010-21)," Discussion Paper 2010-142, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    8. FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2011. "Behavioral fair social choice," CORE Discussion Papers 2011043, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2010. "Moody Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 5005, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Peter Kooreman & Henriëtte Prast, 2010. "What Does Behavioral Economics Mean for Policy? Challenges to Savings and Health Policies in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(2), pages 101-122, June.
    11. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2015. "State dependent choice," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(2), pages 239-268, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decisions ; psychology ; indistinguishability ; revealed preferences ; welfare ; existence ; aspirations;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General

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