Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

HERO Online Working Paper Series,
University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme

No 2008:7: Rational addiction theory – a survey of opinions

Hans Olav Melberg ()
Additional contact information
Hans Olav Melberg: Institute of Health Management and Health Economics, Postal: P.O. Box 1089 Blindern, NO-0317 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: This paper reports briefly on some of the results from a survey of academics who have written about the theory of rational addiction. The topic is important in itself because if the literature is viewed by its participants as an intellectual game, then policy makers should be aware of this so as not to derive actual policy from toy models. More generally, the answers shed light on the nature of economics and how many economists think about model building, evidence requirements and the policy relevance of their work. A majority of the respondents believe the literature is a success story that demonstrates the power of economic reasoning. At the same time they also believe the empirical evidence to be weak, and they disagree both on the type of evidence that would validate the theory and the policy implications. Taken together this points to an interesting gap. On the one hand most of the respondents claim that the theory has valuable real-world implications. On the other hand they do not believe the theory has received empirical support.

Keywords: Rational addiction theory; survey of opinions of economists; disagreement on evidence criteria and interpretation of evidence

JEL-codes: I10

13 pages, June 2, 2009

Full text files

2008_7.pdf PDF-file 

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Kristi Brinkmann Lenander ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2020-02-16 18:57:30.