Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Neuroeconomics: A Critique of ‘Neuroeconomics: A Critical Reconsideration’

Stanton, Angela A. (2008): Neuroeconomics: A Critique of ‘Neuroeconomics: A Critical Reconsideration’.

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Abstract

Some economists believe that neuroeconomists threatens the theory of economics. Glenn Harrison’s paper “Neuroeconomics: A Critical Reconsideration” (2008) provides some support for this view, though some of the points he makes are somewhat disguised. The field of neuroeconomics is barely into its teenage years; and it is trying to do what? Criticize and redesign the field of economics developed over hundreds of years? But that is not what neuroeconomics is trying to do, in spite of all the efforts of some economists trying to place it into that shoebox (see the argument in great detail in Andrew Caplin, Andrew Schotter 2008). Neuroeconomics is a Mendelian-Economics of sort; it is a science that is able to generate data by fixing the environment to some degree, varying a single independent variable for its affects, and is able to see each individual’s choices from initiation of the decision-making process to its outcome. Mainstream (standard) economics, on the other hand, looks at the average of the outcomes of many individuals and proposes how people chose those outcomes, retroactively. The two fields, neuroeconomics and standard economics, are evaluating two sides of the same coin: one with and the other without ceteris paribus; they are not in conflict with one another.

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