Marc Le Menestrel
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Papers on Ethical Rationality

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by Marc Le Menestrel (18/06/2010)

In these papers, we develop the argument that considering some values outside the utility function helps “to” complement the standard approach to rational behavior.

Ethical Rationality refers to this complementary articulation of ethical analysis and rational behavior.

In “A Process Approach to the Utility for Gambling” (published in Theory and Decision in 2001), and in “A One-Shot Prisoners’ Dilemma with Procedural Utility” (published in International Game Theory Review in 2006), I model two well-know puzzles of rational behavior by combining a utility function over consequences with a specific procedural utility for actions, as processes towards consequences.

In “The Domain and Interpretation of Utility Functions” (published in Theory and Decision in 2001) and in “Ethics Outside, Within or Beyond OR Models?” (published in the European Journal of Operational Research in 2004), Luk van Wassenhove (INSEAD) and I discuss the methodology of utility functions and argue that ethical values, and more generally values coming from interpretation, should be treated outside utility functions in order to preserve their scientific credibility.

In “Rationality, ethical values and emotions in MCDA” (published in the Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis), I show how the nature of different types of ethical values (consequential, deontological, and virtue-based) renders problematic their treatment as an additional standard criterion of the utility function.

In “Ethical differentiation and market behavior: An experimental approach” (to appear in the Journal of Ecnomic Behavior and Organizations), we study with Julian Rode (UPF) and Robin Hogarth (UPF & ICREA) how ethical concerns such as the fair production of goods influence producers and consumers behavior in an experimental market setting.