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Friday, January 12, 2007

"The Origin of Utility"

An attempt at an explanation for utility maximizing behavior based upon evolutionary biology:

The Origin of Utility, Gianni De Fraja, University of Leicester, CEPR No. 5859, January 2007: Abstract This paper proposes an explanation for the universal human desire for increasing consumption. It holds that it was moulded in evolutionary times by a mechanism known to biologists as sexual selection, whereby a certain trait - observable consumption - is used by members of one sex to signal their unobservable characteristics valuable to members of the opposite sex. It then shows that the standard economics problem of utility maximisation is formally equivalent to the standard biology problem of the maximisation of individual fitness, the ability to pass genes to future generations. [open link]

    Posted by on Friday, January 12, 2007 at 11:11 AM in Economics, Science | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (27)

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