Rethinking the Meaning of Self-Interest, Rational Choice, Growth and Happiness: How the Misunderstanding of These Concepts Caused Misery for Millions

35 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2016

See all articles by Hershey H. Friedman

Hershey H. Friedman

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Miriam Gerstein

Brooklyn College

Date Written: September 22, 2016

Abstract

This paper examines four terms that are used a great deal by economists and demonstrates that they are often misunderstood. Not fully comprehending the meaning of these terms can result in serious problems for society. Thus, Greenspan admitted that not knowing how self-interest works resulted in the Great Recession of 2008. Other terms analyzed in this paper include rational choice, growth, and happiness.

Keywords: Greed, Self-Interest, Rational Choice, Growth, Happiness, Behavioral Economics, per Capita GDP, Adam Smith, Robert Nozick, Amartya Sen

JEL Classification: M12, M14, M19, M31, M54, J50, A22, A23, D81, G18, G21, I20, L20, L21, Q20, Q38

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Hershey H. and Gerstein, Miriam, Rethinking the Meaning of Self-Interest, Rational Choice, Growth and Happiness: How the Misunderstanding of These Concepts Caused Misery for Millions (September 22, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2842427 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2842427

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York ( email )

Miriam Gerstein

Brooklyn College ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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