Cognitive Economics

19 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2015 Last revised: 28 Jan 2015

See all articles by Miles S. Kimball

Miles S. Kimball

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; University of Colorado Boulder; Center for Economic and Social Research, USC; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: January 2015


Cognitive Economics is the economics of what is in people’s minds. It is a vibrant area of research (much of it within Behavioral Economics, Labor Economics and the Economics of Education) that brings into play novel types of data—especially novel types of survey data. Such data highlight the importance of heterogeneity across individuals and highlight thorny issues for Welfare Economics. A key theme of Cognitive Economics is finite cognition (often misleadingly called “bounded rationality”), which poses theoretical challenges that call for versatile approaches. Cognitive Economics brings a rich toolbox to the task of understanding a complex world.

Suggested Citation

Kimball, Miles S., Cognitive Economics (January 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w20834. Available at SSRN:

Miles S. Kimball (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

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University of Colorado Boulder ( email )

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Center for Economic and Social Research, USC ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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