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Information, evolution and utility

Author(s): Larry Samuelson | Jeroen M. Swinkels

Journal: Theoretical Economics
ISSN 1555-7561

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Evolution | information | internal conflict | self control | temptation | time consistency | utility | C70 | C72 | D80 | D82

Human utility embodies a number of seemingly irrational aspects. The leading example in this paper is that utilities often depend on the presence of salient unchosen alternatives. Our focus is to understand why an evolutionary process might optimally lead to such seemingly dysfunctional features in our motivations and to derive implications for the nature of our utility functions.
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