Rationalitet som process

Något som förenar många neoklassiska nationalekonomer och beteendeekonomer är förståelse av rationalitet som ett statiskt fenomen. Ännu en gång utmanar Mario Rizzo och Glen Whitman denna förståelse av rationalitet, i artikeln ”Rationality as a Process”:

Real human beings do not make decisions instantaneously and without error. Nor do they know all of their goals, and their fully specified willingness to trade them off against each other, prior to making any decisions. Nor do they hold beliefs that are instantaneously consistent with each other and the world. Forming one’s preferences and beliefs is a process, and therefore it seems natural to evaluate them in terms of that process. In doing so, we find that the static approach implicitly conflates rationality with a form of omniscience. If our normative standard is the flawless or optimal solution to problems as defined and understood by the analyst, we will no doubt find many violations of “rationality.” However, these may not be the agent’s problems. They may be problems of inadequate and superficial analysis, driven by the analyst’s static conception of rationality. As an alternative, we suggest the possibility of a process-driven account of rationality that includes a role for intrapersonal bargaining and arbitrage, dialectical reasoning, responsiveness of alleged biases to cost, and learning in response to error. Such an account would surely be preferable on normative grounds, but it also holds the promise of better positive accounts of human behavior.

Analysen tycks mig rationell – och viktig, ty med denna mindre snäva förståelse av rationalitet blir policyimplikationerna också mindre interventionistiska.

Se även tidigare inlägg på liknande tema: ”Den nya paternalismen problematiserad”, ”Beteendeekonomi för politiker”, ”Mot moralisk styrning”, ”Pigou i praktiken” och ”Leder mjuk paternalism till hård?”.