Working Paper No. 142

Endogenous Preferences and Adaptive Economizing


Our concern is with economizing behavior when preferences depend on experience. It is shown that such dependence, reflecting 'deep psychological structure', even when it is stable or habit forming in a fixed environment, can be destabilizing in a market context when prices are adjusting, even when the latter process is stable when preferences are fixed. I Preference reversal' is then shown to be a cause of cyclic or non-periodic sequences of rational choices, thus providing an explanation both of normal variety and addictive binges in consumption. The relationship between cyclicity and intertemporal consistency is discussed. It is suggested that intertemporally optimal behavior is in principle not possible. Instead, behavior must be governed by adaptive economizing procedures which have only an approximate, local and imperfectly far-sighted rationality.

Elgar Companion to

Social Capital and Health

Martin Ljunge okt 2018.jpg

Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

About the book

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To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

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