Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/57528
Authors: 
Witt, Ulrich
Schubert, Christian
Year of Publication: 
2010
Series/Report no.: 
Papers on economics and evolution 1005
Abstract: 
Normative reasoning in welfare economics and social contract theory usually presumes invariable, context-independent individual preferences. Following recent work particularly in behavioral economics this assumption is difficult to defend. This paper therefore explores what can be said about preferences and their changes from a motivation-theoretic perspective, i.e. by explaining what motivates economic agents in making their choices and what mechanisms of change are at work here. We show that on this basis it is possible to complement social welfare assessments by a differential weighing of different human motivations which is derived from empirically informed foundations rather than from ad hoc arguments.
Subjects: 
Preference Change
Welfare
Needs
Subsistence Level
Redistribution
JEL: 
D63
O12
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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