Rubinstein2005-page15

Rubinstein2005-page15 - views as being against the agents...

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October 21, 2005 12:18 master Sheet number 13 Page number xi Introduction xi An economic agent is described in our models as a unit that re- sponds to a scenario called a choice problem , where the agent must make a choice from a set of available alternatives. The economic agent appears in the microeconomic model with a speciFed delibera- tion process he uses to make a decision. In most of current economic theory, the deliberation process is what is called rational choice. The agent decides what action to take through a process in which he 1. asks himself “What is desirable?” 2. asks himself “What is feasible?” 3. chooses the most desirable from among the feasible alterna- tives. Rationality in economics does not contain judgments about de- sires. A rational agent can have preferences which the entire world
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Unformatted text preview: views as being against the agents interest. urthermore, economists are fully aware that almost all people, almost all the time, do not practice this kind of deliberation. Nevertheless, we Fnd the investigation of economic agents who follow the rational process to be important, since we often refer to rational decision making in life as an ideal process. It is mean-ingful to talk about the concept of being good even in a society where all people are evil; similarly, it is meaningful to talk about the concept of a rational man and about the interactions between rational economic agents even if all people systematically behave in a nonrational manner....
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