PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Economists' concept of choice: an experimental study

In this paper we present the first evidence that economists' notion of choice is systematically different from non-economists'. We outline motivations for this study, present the results, and discuss their implications in relation to commonsensible realism about economic theory of choice.
Economists' concept of choice is systematically related to behavioral response to shift in incentives, in a way that is distinct from the notion of choice of non-economists. However, the hypothesis that this notion is insensitive to whether or not the process is conscious is not confirmed. Further investigations are needed to elucidate first the structure of the everyday concept of choice, and second how that is affected by (and affect in turn) the economists' notion of choice that ground their scientific practice.

Author Information:

Michiru Nagatsu    
Department of Political and Economic Studies/Social and Moral Philosophy
University of Helsinki

Kaire P├Áder    
School of Economics and Business Administration/Department of Economics and Finance
Tallinn University of Technology


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