Economics, Psychology and the History of Consumer Choice Theory
D. Wade Hands
University of Puget Sound - Department of Economics
Cambridge Journal of Economics, Forthcoming
This paper examines elements of the complex place/role/influence of psychology in the history of consumer choice theory. The paper reviews, and then challenges, the standard narrative that psychology was "in" consumer choice theory early in the neoclassical revolution, then strictly "out" during the ordinal and revealed preference revolutions, now (possibly) back in with recent developments in experimental, behavioral, and neuroeconomics. The paper uses the work of particular economic theorists to challenge this standard narrative and then provides an alternative interpretation of the relationship between psychology and consumer choice theory. It concludes by discussing some of the implications of this complex history.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Psychology, Demand Theory, Consumer Choice Theory, Behavioral Economics
JEL Classification: A12, B13, B21, B4, D11
Date posted: May 23, 2007 ; Last revised: July 23, 2009
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