From pure theory to full economic analysis – A place for the economic agent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The author discusses the roles given to the “economic agent”. Economists nowadays try to conceive human action: agents with perfect rationality, or with bounded-rationality, with selfish or altruistic behaviour, with individual or social preferences, just to mention some of the main approaches. Hence, the "economic agent", as it is theorized by economists, seems to show through time (and through the different approaches that have been scrutinized) the mark of multipersonality. The author questions whether it is necessary to make all the assumptions regarding an economic agent at the beginning of a theoretical investigation. He makes a distinction that separates the stage of pure economic theory from a (logically second) stage of investigation, which basically concerns the social organization of economic agents within our institutions and lists the positive aspects of using a two tier approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalCAHIERS D'ÉCONOMIE POLITIQUE
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Economic agent
  • Institutional analysis
  • pure theory

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