Irrational Behavior and Economic Theory

  title={Irrational Behavior and Economic Theory},
  author={Gary Stanley Becker},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  pages={1 - 13}
  • G. Becker
  • Published 1 February 1962
  • Psychology, Economics
  • Journal of Political Economy
ALTHOUGH it has long been agreed that traditional economic theory "assumes" rational behavior, at one time there was considerable disagreement over the meaning of the word "rational." To many, the word suggested an outdated psychology, lightning-fast calculation, hedonistic motivation, and other presumably unrealistic behavior. As economic theory became more clearly and precisely formulated, controversy over the meaning of the assumptions diminished greatly, and now everyone more or less agrees… 

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