What Happiness Research Can Tell Us About Self-Control Problems And Utility Misprediction
Neoclassical economic theory rules out systematic errors in consumption choice. According to the basic view, individuals know what they choose. They are able to predict how much utility an activity or a good produces for them now and in the future and they can maximize their utility. This implies that behavior reveals consistent preferences. This approach makes it impossible to detect and understand sub-optimal consumption decisions, due to problems of self-control and the misprediction of utility. We propose the economics of happiness as a methodological approach to study these phenomena. Based on proxy measures for experienced utility, it is, in principle, possible to directly address whether some observed behavior is sub-optimal and is therefore reducing a personï¿½s well-being. We discuss recent evidence on smoking and eating habits, TV viewing and commuting choice.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Schönberggasse 1, CH-8001 Zürich|
Phone: +41-1-634 21 37
Fax: +41-1-634 49 82
Web page: http://www.econ.uzh.ch/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:267. 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: (Marita Kieser)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.