AbstractA person possesses a multidimensional capacity that may be used in different ways. This capacity is modeled analogously to “the commons,” where open access insures value dissipation. Efficiency requires constraint on access, which may be interpreted as a rule for usage. As applied to personal choice, the model suggests that rationality, defined as maximization of whatever standard of value chosen as the objective for choice, is a learned rule rather than a “natural” behavioral attribute. In other words, “maximize utility” is not an empty normative imperative, even if “utility” remains undefined. The discussion offers a means of reconciling descriptive and prescriptive models of rational choice and allows utilization of the explanatory potential of both economics and psychology. The analysis is readily extended from individual to collective choice with numerous familiar applications.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.