A Theory of Natural Addiction

Tasnádi, Attila and Smith, Trenton G. (2007) A Theory of Natural Addiction. Games and Economic Behavior, 59 (2). pp. 316-344.

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Economic theories of rational addiction aim to describe consumer behavior in the presence of habit-forming goods. We provide a biological foundation for this body of work by formally specifying conditions under which it is optimal to form a habit. We demonstrate the empirical validity of our thesis with an in-depth review and synthesis of the biomedical literature concerning the action of opiates in the mammalian brain and their eects on behavior. Our results lend credence to many of the unconventional behavioral assumptions employed by theories of rational addiction, including adjacent complementarity and the importance of cues, attention, and self-control in determining the behavior of addicts. We oer evidence for the special case of the opiates that "harmful" addiction is the manifestation of a mismatch between behavioral algorithms encoded in the human genome and the expanded menu of choices faced by consumers in the modern world.

Item Type:Article
Series Number / Identification Number:10.1016/j.geb.2006.08.006
Uncontrolled Keywords:endogenous opioids, sugar addiction, behavioral ecology, neuroendocrinology
Divisions:Faculty of Economics > Department of Mathematics
Subjects:Social welfare, insurance, health care
Mathematics, Econometrics
ID Code:213
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:01 Feb 2011 13:52
Last Modified:18 Oct 2021 10:30

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