The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Behavioural Economics

  • Herbert A. Simon
Reference work entry


Since economics is certainly concerned with human behaviour – with, as Marshall put it, ‘[the] study of mankind in the ordinary business of life’ – the phrase ‘behavioural economics’ appears to be a pleonasm. What non-behavioural economics can we contrast with it? The answer to this question is found in the specific assumptions about human behaviour that are made in neoclassical economic theory.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert A. Simon
    • 1
  1. 1.