Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, But Also How Matters

Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 129

29 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2002  

Matthias Benz

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: October 2, 2002

Abstract

People not only care about outcomes, they also value the procedures which lead to the outcomes. Procedural utility is a potentially important source of human well-being. This paper aims at introducing the concept of procedural utility into economics, and argues that it should be incorporated more widely into economic theory and empirical research. Three building blocks of a concept of procedural utility are outlined and it is suggested how procedural utility can be fruitfully integrated. Evidence from a broad range of social sciences is reviewed in order to show that procedural utility is a relevant concept for economics.

Keywords: Procedural utility, outcome utility, institutions

JEL Classification: A00, A12, D60, D70

Suggested Citation

Benz, Matthias and Frey, Bruno S. and Stutzer, Alois, Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, But Also How Matters (October 2, 2002). Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 129. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=338568 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.338568

Matthias Benz

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

Alois Stutzer (Contact Author)

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 267 3361 (Phone)
0041 61 267 3340 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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