, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 617-635
Date: 07 Jun 2011

On the neural enrichment of economic models: tractability, trade-offs and multiple levels of description

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Abstract

In the recent literature at the interface between economics, biology and neuroscience, several authors argue that by adopting an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of decision making, economists will be able to construct predictively and explanatorily superior models. However, most economists remain quite reluctant to import biological or neural insights into their account of choice behaviour. In this paper, I reconstruct and critique one of the main arguments by means of which economists attempt to vindicate their conservative position. Furthermore, I develop an alternative defense of the thesis that economists justifiably rely on a methodologically distinctive approach to the modelling of choice behaviour.