Anuari de la Societat Catalana d'Economia, Vol. 18 (2004)

Un Nobel a l'experimentació : Daniel Kahneman i Vernon Smith

Antoni Bosch


This Nobel prize was given for systematizing the use of the experimental method in economics. Conventional economic models are based on the supposition of “rationality” (an unlimited capacity of infornation and calculation) of the subjects of economic decision making. This supposition is translated into the postulate of maximizing expected utility. The intuitive theorems derived from this are normally not applicable. Human behaviour deviates systematically from the ideal behaviour attributed to maximizers of expected utility and the “rational economic man.” Why do economists insist on not abandoning the rational model despite considerable evidence against? Irrationality does not seem to appear in market decision making. Maybe markets discipline participants teaching them rational behaviour. Or markets perform well without without requiring participants to be very rational.

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ISSN:  2013-9551 (edició electrònica); 1130-4375 (edició impresa).