Econometrica: Jul 1997, Volume 65, Issue 4

Maximization and the Act of Choice

https://doi.org/0012-9682(199707)65:4<745:MATAOC>2.0.CO;2-W
p. 745-779

Amartya Sen

The act of choosing can have particular relevance in maximizing behavior for at least two distinct reasons: (1) process significance (preferences may be sensitive to the choice process, including the identity of the chooser), and (2) decisional inescapability (choices may have to be made whether or not the judgemental process has been completed). The general approach of maximizing behavior can--appropriately formulated--accommodate both concerns, but the regularities of choice behavior assumed in standard models of rational choice will need significant modification. These differences have considerable relevance in studies of economic, social, and political behavior.

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