economic man


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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.
Economic manclick for a larger image
Fig. 53 Economic man. The graph demonstrates why, if the assumption of rational consumer behaviour holds, a consumer's INDIFFERENCE CURVES cannot cross. Indifference curves II and I1 I1, show a consumer's preference between two products, X and Y. Point A on indifference curve II represents a higher level of satisfaction to the consumer than point B on indifference curve I1 I1 because point A represents more of both products than point B. Yet point C lies on both curves. This suggest that the consumer, having preferred the combination of goods indicated by point A to the combination represented by point B, now regards them as equal at point C. If the consumer is rational, such an inconsistent or intransitive set of preferences would not arise -hence indifference curves do not intersect.

economic man

an assumption in economic theory that individuals act rationally in specifying their objectives and then take decisions that are consistent with those objectives. Thus, the ENTREPRENEUR will set a goal of PROFIT MAXIMIZATION and will adjust his output and price to achieve this goal. Again, the CONSUMER will seek to maximize his UTILITY or satisfaction and will determine his purchases in the light of his tastes for products and the relative prices of those products. See Fig. 53 for an illustration of rational consumer choice. See CONSUMER RATIONALITY, CONSUMER EQUILIBRIUM, BEHAVIOURAL THEORY OF THE FIRM.
References in periodicals archive ?
From Economic Man to Economic System: Essays on Human Behaviour and Institutions of Capitalism.
Replete with accelerating mathematics and with reliance on the rationality of economic man, it is a methodology that is typically characterized by economists in terms of rigor and science.
Mill, I define the economic man as an individual who seeks the best opportunities for himself given the range of possibilities.
Two gender papers review feminist criticisms of the mainstream concept of the rational economic man and the history of feminist engagement with social reproduction.
2) These normative assumptions find expression in the neoclassical concept of homo economicus, or economic man.
Her book The Only Sex - Why You're Seduced by Economic Man and How it Destroys Your Life and the World Economy was published in Sweden by Albert Bonniers Forlag.
I then situate the lecture according to the different types of feminism that are identified in Feminist Economics (Ferber and Nelson Beyond Economic Man : Feminist Theory and Economics): where Feminist Economics may catch hold of Duflo's lecture, it is not clear that Duflo is catching hold of Feminist Economics.
In order to arrive at an economical and thrifty allocation, economic man weighs up the pros and cons and takes into account the value of the economic means.
a moral hector who, looking over the shoulder of the economic man, scrutinizes every move he makes" and is a source of "self-denial .
If rational economic man is extinct, as Scientific American argued four years ago, where does that leave economic theory?
2003) Feminist Economics Today: Beyond Economic Man.
Christian democracy differed from classical liberal individualism with its faith in economic man following rational self-interest.