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Economics and the VirtuesBuilding a New Moral Foundation$
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Jennifer A. Baker and Mark D. White

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701392.001.0001

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The Space Between Choice and Our Models of It

The Space Between Choice and Our Models of It

Practical Wisdom and Normative Economics

Chapter:
(p.165) Chapter 8 The Space Between Choice and Our Models of It
Source:
Economics and the Virtues
Author(s):

Andrew Yuengert

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701392.003.0009

The gap between the economic theory of action and the practical reality of choice (analyzed in the Aristotelian practical wisdom tradition) cannot be bridged through the development of more complex models. This poses a challenge for the use of economic models for policy analysis: they cannot help but leave out of their formal analysis certain aspects of actual decision-making (such as practical wisdom) which are crucial to the operation of the economy. Insights from three different treatments of the gap between the formal analysis of choice and the reality of human behavior—Lucy Suchman’s studies of plans and situated action, James Scott’s analysis of mētis, and Vernon Smith’s studies of ecological rationality—offer guidance for how economists might modify the insights of their models of choice when offering policy advice.

Keywords:   practical wisdom, ecological rationality, situated action, rationality, Friedrich Hayek, Lucy Suchman, James Scott, Vernon Smith

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