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Socially Endogenous Modifications of Utility Functions: Working Paper Series--00-07

Smith, Dean Howard (2000) Socially Endogenous Modifications of Utility Functions: Working Paper Series--00-07. Working Paper. NAU W.A. Franke College of Business.


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Recent international agreements are evidence of modifications of the very form of individuals' utility functions as concerns for conservation of natural resources have progressed and increasingly become a major point of discussion within many levels of the global society. While the various policy issues resulting from environmental concerns have been analyzed in a broad spectrum of forums, the major social changes stimulating these policy discussions remain ignored. In a simplistic neo-classical framework, the changes could be thought of as simple responses to price (in the widest possible interpretation of the term) and income changes over time. Following the diverse writings of Greenhut et al., Norgaard, Parsons and Trosper, this paper sketches a theory explaining the alterations in what might be termed the distribution of individual utility functions and how this change influences society's decisions. The resulting sketch of endogenous utility functions develops a better understanding of the changes in individual and societal behavior as our human culture and the environment continue to co-evolve. To borrow Eriksson's term, perhaps the time has come to begin studying homo sociologius.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Publisher’s Statement: Copyright, where appropriate, is held by the author.
ID number or DOI: 00-07
Keywords: Working paper, utility functions, resource conservation, environmental policy, social change
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Faculty/Staff
Department/Unit: The W.A. Franke College of Business
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 18:38
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/1640

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