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 ?
They may not have been democrats as such, indeed she points out that democrats have been largely notable by their absence from the history of Western political thought, but they preserved a space in which homo politicus could co-exist with homo oeconomicus, if only as the bearer of basic legal rights.
In Homo Oeconomicus, Credit / Opening Credits, and Homo Oeconomicus, Credit / Closing Credits, both 2013, animated text scrolls across a diptych of flat panel displays: terms, definitions, questions, statements--words and sentences in white on a black ground.
Together with the humanist psychology movement and with the Catholic worldview, they reject the notion of homo oeconomicus because they see human persons as striving for self-fulfillment and for communities rather than as calculating benefits and costs of options and then acting from purely egoistic and material motives.
Raiser contends that, "Since the economic order of capitalism is based on the individualism of the homo oeconomicus and the pursuit of 'rational' self-interest, it not only fosters greed but depends on the unlimited desire of greed.
Homo oeconomicus is someone who is eminently governable.
The somewhat outdated utility theory of the latter points almost (though not altogether) inevitably to a homo oeconomicus who is opportunistic, self-interested, selfish.
In his intriguing article "Religion and Globalization" Graf points out that the homo oeconomicus is dead.
Whereas the self-interested person simply chooses between different possible acts on the basis of what seems best for him- or herself, the homo oeconomicus observes all beings in terms of interest.
In the area of finance, in particular, there has been much recent effort to relax the assumption of homo oeconomicus, our beloved mythical species that is blessed by complete rationality and ready access to all information.
Indeed, acknowledging that the question about a Life Philosophy makes sense implies doubts about the adequacy of the strict behavioral axioms of homo oeconomicus even when they are restricted to the market sphere.
The second part intends to clarify some of the concepts introduced in the first section by analyzing the relationship that exists between faith and culture, the roles of Thomistic philosophy on Christian thought and neo-Thomism on economic thought, their influence on the understanding of the homo oeconomicus, and the objectivity, neutrality, and normative aspects of economics as a science.
Modeling homo oeconomicus as a "machine" does not seem to pose any particular conceptual difficulties for economic theorists.