Desires, Preferences and Sen's Liberal Paradox
17 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 19, 2015
In this paper, Sen’s Liberal Paradox is used to discuss differences between desires and preferences and the relationship between these two concepts. Desires and preferences can mix in real life and in theorizing. In fact, it seems that the mixing of desires and preferences can explain many of the inconsistencies that people show in decision making, especially in experiments that take place in laboratories, but also in theorizing. A power analysis and a game theoretical model of Sen’s example of reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover illustrate the problem of mixing desires and preferences. The paper discusses the question: Are there preferences on desires and are these preferences different from preferences on alternatives?
Keywords: desires, bounded rationality, evaluation of options, quality of life
JEL Classification: D01, D03, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation