Understanding how we take economic decisions and how we depart from rational choice theory has become increasingly important to understanding the workings of the economy at all levels. The concept of bounded rationality has been central to that endeavour and is used in economic models to shed light on real-life behaviour, which has led to specific policy implications that would otherwise have gone unappreciated.
This introduction presents the key concepts and approaches adopted in the field of bounded rationality. The exposition is non-technical and free from any mathematical expressions and workings. The focus throughout is primarily on the behaviour of individuals or organizations within given situations rather than on macroeconomic concerns. The book examines how the field has evolved since its beginnings and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of its current research programme, including its relationship with behavioural economics.
The book is excellent preparatory reading for degree-level courses in economics as well as specific courses in behavioural economics and philosophy of economics.
1. Different conceptions of decision-making
2. A brief history
3. Good enough
4. Optimization with additional constraints
5. Reflections on the story
Graham Mallard is Head of Economics at Clifton College. He gained his PhD in economics from the University of Bath in 2011, where he remains a Visiting Research Fellow. He is the author of two successful textbooks: The Economics Companion (2011) and Transport Economics (co-authored with Stephen Glaister) (2008).