Homo Economicus

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Homo Economicus

A person that desires to maximize his/her needs or desires. Homo economicus is used most of the time to refer to the rational economic actor, who desires wealth, does not desire to work if it can be avoided, and is able to find ways achieve those ends. This assumption is accepted by many economists, especially those who follow rational choice theory, but it remains controversial. The concept of homo economicus was developed by utilitarian thinkers, and contrasts with the constructs of behavioral economics.
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, in experimental games, about a quarter of experimental subjects really do behave like economic men (and women), no matter what situation we put them into.
Who are the economic men and women, and who the altruists?
Finally an economist, Edwin Chadwick (1862), struck an effective blow for decent treatment of prisoners by accepting that ship captains were economic men and recommending a change in incentives.
Unfortunately, some empowerment proponents assume that Americans are economic men - entrepreneurs who can be made virtuous solely by promises of material reward.
His findings lead him to conclude, inter alia, that medieval English lords were rational economic men and that King William's taxation was not "arbitrary" and depended on ability to pay - "subject to the political constraint of placating his powerful barons" [p.