Inconsistency is not pathological

a pragmatic perspective

Mario Rizzo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Both behavioral and standard neoclassical economists place a heavy emphasis on the consistency of preferences. In particular, transitive preferences are considered a desideratum. This paper attempts to show that consistency at the level of individual choice may be pragmatically irrelevant. Consistently following an environmentally adapted rule can result in intransitive preferences without negative consequences for individual or social goals. I give three examples of this. Social scientists should look at intransitivity of choices as a challenge to offer better explanations rather than as a normative defect.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalMind and Society
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

    Fingerprint

    pragmatics
    social scientist
    economist
    Inconsistency
    Intransitivity
    Intransitive
    Defects
    Economists
    Transitive

    Keywords

    • Adaptation
    • Intransitivity
    • Rationality
    • Rules

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Inconsistency is not pathological : a pragmatic perspective. / Rizzo, Mario.

    In: Mind and Society, 01.01.2019.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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