Download A Theory of Adaptive Economic Behavior by John G. Cross PDF

By John G. Cross

This publication develops dynamic fiscal versions utilizing the viewpoint and analytic framework supplied by means of mental studying thought. This framework is used to solve obvious contradictions among optimization concept, which lies on the center of all sleek financial thought, and daily facts that short-run financial behaviour can't kind of be defined exclusively because the final result of successfully carried out self-interest. the writer applies this point of view to a few troublesome areas during which literal functions of maximization idea haven't frequently proved to be passable. those comprise analyses of decision-making lower than uncertainty and playing behaviour, the function of consumer-oriented advertisements in influencing behaviour, the endurance of fee dispersions in markets, and inflation.

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Extra resources for A Theory of Adaptive Economic Behavior

Example text

Studies of reinforcement learning, for example, presume that we know what constitutes a reward, and empirical work on learning often comes dangerously close to the circular proposition that a "reward" is something that induces reinforcement learning. Experimental psychol­ ogists usually skirt this problem by confining their payoffs to goods that serve fundamental biological needs and then applying them under condi­ tions of deprivation ; such payoffs are so obviously rewarding as to divert attention from the potential circularity of the model.

In response, a number of models have been devised in which one interprets experimental conditions in terms of the constraints they impose on behavior (Timberlake and Allison, 1 974; Models of convergence 27 Allison, 1 98 1 ) . Comparison of unconstrained behavior with that under constraint then provides the experimental data. All of these models have a strongly economic flavor, and, in effect , their authors are turning to ordinalist utility models to provide an alternative to the cruder presump­ tion that any biological need under conditions of deprivation constitutes a "reinforcer .

This final example serves to dramatize a behavioral asymmetry that 40 A theory of adaptive economic behavior will characterize any model that is based on experience rather than full­ information optimization . Maximization models value all potential out­ comes relative to the optimum, and so there is no qualitative distinction between those actions that might be termed successful in practice and those that would not (beyond the simple notion that any payoff less than the optimum is a failure). In the models to be described here, however, the distinction carries a great deal of weight.

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