Bounded rationality and expectations in economics

Authored by: Ignazio Visco , Giordano Zevi

Routledge Handbook of Bounded Rationality

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138999381
eBook ISBN: 9781315658353
Adobe ISBN:


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Simon’s bounded rationality notion has exerted a substantial influence in economics. This chapter considers some of the links between concepts of bounded rationality and the approaches followed by economists in their analysis of the role played by economic agents’ expectations in driving the evolution of the economy through time. Indeed, the relevance of expectations has been repeatedly underlined in macroeconomic theory and policy making. However, the economists’ degree of attention to how they are actually formed and to how they interact with the economic observables has followed high and low cycles. In recent years, the increasing availability of survey data and the failings of models based on purely rational representative agents have prompted renewed interest in inquiries into the direct measurement of expectations and empirical studies of their formation. The intellectual legacy of Herbert Simon provides a useful guide for both these activities, and new data and bigger computational power have paved the way for the massive and painstaking analyses at the level of individual decision makers that he had envisioned and advocated.

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