Economic Behavior and the Issue of Rationality

  • Alexandr A. ShestakovEmail author
  • Eduard G. Noskov
  • Vladimir A. Tikhonov
  • Nonna S. Astafeva
Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)


The use of theoretical constructs is a peculiar feature of science. Modern socio-humanitarian knowledge is peculiar for search for anthropological and gnoseological foundations of corresponding theories. In particular, fundamental precondition of the latter of the model Homo Sociologicus, and in economic theory—Homo Economicus. The latter theoretical construct shows that individual is never only an abstract agent of economic activities—he is a specific embodiment of social body in the form of comprehensive economic culture. The basic characteristics of the Homo Economicus model is rationally organized behavior. Achievement of the purpose of the research supposes description of economic behavior in the aspect of (1) optimality, (2) purposefulness, (3) awareness. As any theoretical tool, the Homo Economicus model has certain limitations in usage. This model possesses heuristic potential only when reverse actions of other individuals are not taken into account; secondly, the very idea of rationality of economic behavior supposes implementation of a range of corresponding hypothesis (for example, hypothesis on equal behavior of economic actors), and, thirdly, basic idea of maximization of usefulness is only one of possible explaining models. It is concluded that existing limitations in application of the hypothesis, which related to rational character of economic action, do not cancel its heuristic meaning, only outlining the limits of applicability.


Economic behavior Economic rationality Theoretical model 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandr A. Shestakov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eduard G. Noskov
    • 1
  • Vladimir A. Tikhonov
    • 1
  • Nonna S. Astafeva
    • 1
  1. 1.Samara State Architecture and Construction UniversitySamaraRussian Federation

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