Are People Rational?

By Ivar Ekeland

In standard model of economic theory, individuals are seen as strategic utility-maximizers. That is, they proceed by ranking alternatives by order of preferences, and by choosing the best one, and they incorporate into their own decision the anticipated decisions of others. In this talk, we will investigate whether this assumption is true. To do so, we will derive some mathematical consequences, and check whether they are observed in practical situations, such as soccer competitions and family expenditure.

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