SFB 303 Discussion Paper No. A - 90

Author: Bös, Dieter
Title: On Supporting the Maximization Postulate
Abstract: In a challenging paper, Harvey Leibenstein (1985) argues in favor of a theory which allows nonoptional decisions to be made. I fully agree with his warning „against the ideas that nonoptional choices are unthinkable, misconceived or an unnecessary part of any decision postulate“ (p.19). However, in his understandable interest in putting forward the argument, Leibenstein overstates his case. Neoclassical economics is flexible enough to cope with many of his comments without being tautological and without making nonoptional choices unthinkable. In the following I will present some thoughts on supporting the maximization principle, giving alternative neoclassical interpretations of some of Leibenstein`s examples.
Creation-Date: December 1986
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