A New View of UtilityMaximizing “Optimal Investment”
In this brief essay, we review benefits of the caregiving system for health and well-being, and argue that these benefits are not reflected in economic models of how to maximize utility. We then describe how the caregiving system highlights the tension between appetitive motives versus maintaining deeper relationships, a sense of purpose, meaning, etc, and point out how this tension is reflected in existing debates within economics. We discuss how new discoveries about the caregiving system can be used to inform these debates, and conclude with a discussion of some potential practical implications.
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