A synthesis of behavioural and mainstream economics

Mainstream economic theory is based on the rationality assumption: thatpeople act as best they can to promote their interests. In contrast,behavioural economics holds that people act by behavioural rules of thumb,often with poor results. We propose a synthesis according to which peopleindeed act by rules, which usually work well, but may work poorly inexceptional or contrived scenarios. The reason is that like physicalfeatures, behavioural rules are the product of evolutionary processes; andevolution works on the usual, the common -- not the exception, not thecontrived scenario.


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