Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Que es "racional"?

Herbert Gintis critica las conclusiones de los "economistas del comportamiento":

"Despite the extreme value of their experiments, the behavioral economists are mostly a theoretically ignorant and indolent lot, who content themselves with showing that a highly stripped-down version of the rational actor model is wrong, and conclude, sloppily and without warrant, that "people are irrational." Of course, the greatest behavioral economists have developed better models of human behavior that explain the experimental evidence, but these models are simply sophisticated versions of the rational actor model, not their antithesis. For instance, Kahneman and Tversky's `prospect theory,' for which Kahneman was awarded the Nobel prize in Economics, replaces the standard economic utility function with one with a kink at the individual's current position. Similarly, the various models of altruistic behavior are based on expanded utility functions that included caring, positively or negatively, about the welfare of others. There is absolutely nothing "irrational" about altruism.

Another set of behavioral findings is that people do not always make choices that are in their own interest. Some of these result from people having incorrect theories about the world. For instance, there are various "pop probability theories" that are incorrect and will lead people who follow them to lose lots of money. However, ignorance is not irrationality, and given their incorrect beliefs, these individuals perform exactly as predicted by the rational actor model."

Estoy de acuerdo. Los "economistas del comportamiento" han adoptado una versión muy limitada de "racionalidad" para poder probar fácilmente que es irreal o falsa. O no saben realmente a que refiere el concepto de racionalidad en economía o simplemente son deshonestos