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

Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (2):107-128 (2011)
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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Robin Cubitt (2005). Experiments and the Domain of Economic Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):197-210.

    View all 6 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Aki Lehtinen (2013). Three Kinds of 'as-If' Claims. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (2):184-205.
    Similar books and articles
    Michael Taylor (1995). Battering RAMs. Critical Review 9 (1-2):223-234.
    Peter Stone (2003). The Impossibility of Rational Politics? Politics, Philosophy and Economics 2 (2):239-263.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

    Added to index

    2012-02-20

    Total downloads

    1 ( #306,230 of 1,088,905 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,905 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.