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Measuring UtilityFrom the Marginal Revolution to Behavioral Economics$
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Ivan Moscati

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199372768

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199372768.001.0001

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(p.281) Epilogue
Measuring Utility

Ivan Moscati

Oxford University Press

The epilogue reviews the key passages in the history of economists’ ideas, discussions, and research on the measurability of utility between 1870 and 1985 and points to three main research programs related to utility measurement in the post-1985 period. Researchers in the first program, such as Peter Wakker and Mohammed Abdellaoui, aim at measuring utility experimentally on the basis of some nonexpected utility model, such as the rank-dependent utility model. A second research trend, championed by Daniel Kahneman, has been concerned with the measurement of utility-related concepts, such as “experienced utility,” “remembered utility,” or “happiness.” Finally, neuroeconomists such as Paul Glimcher have interpreted the measurement of the activity of a specific population of neurons in the human brain as the measurement of utility. The epilogue briefly discusses the similarities and differences between these three post-1985 research programs concerning utility measurement but leaves to future work a detailed analysis.

Keywords:   nonexpected utility models, rank-dependent utility, weighting function, experienced utility, remembered utility, happiness, Daniel Kahneman, neural utility, axiomatic measurement, pragmatic measurement

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