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Journal cover: International Journal of Social Economics

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Online from: 1974

Subject Area: Economics

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A Christian perspective on Neoclassical rational choice theory

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Title:A Christian perspective on Neoclassical rational choice theory
Author(s):Clive Beed, (University of Melbourne, Australia), Cara Beed, (Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia)
Citation:Clive Beed, Cara Beed, (1999) "A Christian perspective on Neoclassical rational choice theory", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 26 Iss: 4, pp.501 - 520
Keywords:Beliefs, Individual behaviour
Article type:General review
DOI:10.1108/03068299910216158 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:The Neoclassical approach to analysing personal choice is compared with an approach contained in a Biblical Christian mode of analysis. This paper compares the Neoclassical and Christian positions via analysis of characteristics of the Neoclassical rational choice model. The main characteristic examined is a basic assumption of the rational choice model that human choice is explained as the optimisation of utility via rational self-interest. The two positions are compared in terms of how they treat self-interest and rationality, the degree to which basic assumptions about human behaviour are specified, the importance they attach to the realism of assumptions underlying their models, and the explanatory and predictive purposes for which the models are used. The conclusion of the comparison is that the Biblical Christian perspective encompasses the variables regarded as important in Neoclassical explanation, but presents them in the context of a more embracing worldview perspective than the Neoclassical. This Christian belief perspective is applicable to human behaviour in both “economic” and “non-economic” domains.

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