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On economic man : an essay on the elements of economic theory

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: On economic man : an essay on the elements of economic theory
Author(s): Bensusan-Butt, D. M.
Date published: 1978
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
On Economic Man is a speculative essay upon the adequacy of the traditional assumptions about economic behaviour that underlie the bulk of economic theory and much of the thinking of economists about basic policy issues: the assumptions that men are self-regarding, rational, and well-informed. The author recognises that both in theory and in practice economists require a simplified 'model' of economic psychology, and that this cannot be realistic. But after suggesting, in Part I, the remarkable strength of this account in its deductive uses, he concludes, after surveying its psychological assumptions in detail in Part II, that it is a misleading myth - above all in respect of the accurate information and calculation assumed. Part III tentatively examines what might happen to the subject if better models were constructed after systematic empirical studies. This stimulating and controversial book should be read by every economist. It will arouse both fury and applause.


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