Skip navigation

Becker random behavior and the as-if defense of rational choice theory in demand analysis

Becker random behavior and the as-if defense of rational choice theory in demand analysis

Moscati, Ivan and Tubaro, Paola (2011) Becker random behavior and the as-if defense of rational choice theory in demand analysis. Journal of Economic Methodology, 18 (2). pp. 107-128. ISSN 1350-178X (Print), 1469-9427 (Online) (doi:10.1080/1350178X.2011.579147)

Full text not available from this repository.

Abstract

In discussing rational choice theory (RCT) as an explanation of demand behavior, Becker (1962, Journal of Political Economy, 70, 1–13) proposed a model of random
choice in which consumers pick a bundle on their budget line according to a uniform distribution. This model has then been used in various ways to assess the validity of
RCT and to support as-if arguments in defense of it. This paper makes both historical and methodological contributions. Historically, it investigates how the interpretation of Becker random behavior evolved between the original 1962 article and the modern experimental literature on individual demand, and surveys six experiments in which it has been used as an alternative hypothesis to RCT. Methodologically, this paper conducts an assessment of the as-if defense of RCT from the standpoint of Becker’s model. It argues that this defense is ‘weak’ in a number of senses, and that it has negatively influenced the design of experiments about RCT.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] First published: 2011. [2] First published online: 27 June 2011. [3] Published as: Journal of Economic Methodology, (2011), Vol. 18, (2), pp. 107-128. [4] This is an electronic version of an article published in Ivan Moscati & Paola Tubaro (2011): Becker random behavior and the as-if defense of rational choice theory in demand analysis, Journal of Economic Methodology, 18:2, 107-128. Journal of Economic Methodology is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1350-178X&volume=18&issue=2&spage=107.[5] The Journal of Economic Methodology is the international scholarly journal of the International Network for Economic Method (INEM).
Uncontrolled Keywords: rational choice, random choice, as-if defense of scientific theories, experimental economics, demand analysis.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Business Network Analysis
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:12
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/4660

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item