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Journal of Economic Literature: Vol. 51 No. 2 (June 2013)

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Incorporating Limited Rationality into Economics

Article Citation

Rabin, Matthew. 2013. "Incorporating Limited Rationality into Economics." Journal of Economic Literature, 51(2): 528-43.

DOI: 10.1257/jel.51.2.528

Abstract

Harstad and Selten (this forum) raise interesting questions about the relative promise of optimization models and bounded-rationality models in making progress in economics. This article builds from their analysis by indicating the potential for using neoclassical (broadly defined) optimization models to integrate insights from psychology on the limits to rationality into economics. I lay out an approach to making (imperfect and incremental) improvements over previous economic theory by incorporating greater realism while attempting to maintain the breadth of application, the precision of predictions, and the insights of neoclassical theory. I then discuss how many human limits to full rationality are, in fact, well understood in terms of optimization.

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Authors

Rabin, Matthew (U CA, Berkeley)

JEL Classifications

B49: Economic Methodology: Other
D01: Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
D03: Behavioral Economics: Underlying Principles
D81: Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
D84: Expectations; Speculations


Journal of Economic Literature


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