PhilSci Archive

Reason-based choice and context-dependence: An explanatory framework

Dietrich, Franz and List, Christian (2016) Reason-based choice and context-dependence: An explanatory framework. Economics and Philosophy.

[img] PDF
RBC-DL.pdf

Download (3MB)

Abstract

We introduce a “reason-based” framework for explaining and predicting individual choices. The key idea is that a decision-maker focuses on some but not all properties of the options and chooses an option whose “motivationally salient” properties he/she most prefers. Reason-based explanations can capture two kinds of context-dependent choice: (i) the motivationally salient properties may vary across choice contexts (as in framing effects); and (ii) they may include context-related properties (such as whether an option conforms to a context-specific social norm). By contrast, classical choice theory admits neither of these two kinds of context-dependence. Our framework allows us to explain boundedly rational and sophisticated choice behaviours, such as those discussed in psychology and behavioural economics. Since motivationally salient properties can be recombined in new ways, the framework offers resources for predicting choices in unobserved contexts, a somewhat neglected issue in standard choice theory. The paper also compares our reason-based approach with the more traditional revealed-preference approach.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dietrich, Franz
List, Christianc.list@lse.ac.uk
Keywords: Rational choice, reasons, context-dependence, bounded and sophisticated rationality, prediction of choice, explanation in microeconomics, foundations of decision theory
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Depositing User: Christian List
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 16:03
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2016 16:03
Item ID: 11935
Journal or Publication Title: Economics and Philosophy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_EAP
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1017/S0266267115000474
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Date: 2016
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11935

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item