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Was ist „Wohlfahrt“ aus verhaltensökonomischer Sicht?

Zur Debatte um Robert Sugdens „Opportunity“-Kriterium

Christian Schubert
From the journal ORDO

Zusammenfassung

Dieser Artikel gibt einen kurzen Einblick in die aktuelle Debatte, wie ökonomische „Wohlfahrt“ zu denken ist, wenn man nicht mehr davon ausgehen kann, dass individuelle Präferenzen vollständig, stabil und konsistent sind. Konkret geht es um Robert Sugdens Vorschlag, ein Opportunity-Kriterium an die Stelle des traditionellen wohlfahrtsökonomischen Fokus auf die Befriedigung gegebener Präferenzen zu setzen. Mit unvollständigen und inkonsistenten Präferenzen erscheint jener Fokus nicht mehr überzeugend. Sugden schlägt vor, die Maximierung der individuellen Chancen anzustreben, jedwede Präferenz zu befriedigen, die ein Individuum in künftigen Perioden potentiell ausprägen könnte. Einige Einwände gegen diesen Ansatz werden diskutiert.

Abstract

This article briefly surveys the recent debate on how to conceptualize economic “welfare” in a world where preferences can no longer be assumed to be complete, stable and coherent. Specifically, Robert Sugden’s opportunity criterion is discussed which he suggests as a way to overcome welfare economists’ traditional focus on the satisfaction of given preferences as constituting welfare. With incoherent and incomplete preferences, that is no longer a plausible option. Sugden proposes instead to aim at maximizing individuals’ opportunities to satisfy whatever (incoherent) potential preference they happen to have in future periods. Some objections to that criterion are discussed.

JEL-Klassifikation: D91; D01; D04

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Online erschienen: 2020-06-23
Erschienen im Druck: 2020-06-22

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