Measuring utility : from the marginal revolution to behavioral economics
- Ivan Moscati.
- Moscati, Ivan, author
- New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 
Where to find it
Utility is a key concept in the economics of individual decision-making. However, utility is not measurable in a straightforward way. As a result, from the very beginning there has been debates about the meaning of utility as well as how to measure it. This book is an innovative investigationof how these arguments changed over time.Measuring Utility reconstructs economists' ideas and discussions about utility measurement from 1870 to 1985, as well as their attempts to measure utility empirically. The book brings into focus the interplay between the evolution of utility analysis, economists' ideas about utility measurement, andtheir conception of what measurement in general means. It also explores the relationships between the history of utility measurement in economics, the history of the measurement of sensations in psychology, and the history of measurement theory in general. Finally, the book discusses somemethodological problems related to utility measurement, such as the epistemological status of the utility concept and its measures.The first part covers the period 1870-1910, and discusses the issue of utility measurement in the theories of Jevons, Menger, Walras and other early utility theorists. Part II deals with the emergence of the notions of ordinal and cardinal utility during the period 1900-1945, and discusses two earlyattempts to give an empirical content to the notion of utility. Part III focuses on the 1945-1955 debate on utility measurement that was originated by von Neumann and Morgenstern's expected utility theory (EUT). Part IV reconstructs the experimental attempts to measure the utility of money between1950 and 1985 within the framework provided by EUT.This historical and epistemological overview provides keen insights into current debates about rational choice theory and behavioral economics in the theory of individual decision-making and the philosophy of economics.
PART ONE: Utility Measurement in Early Utility Theories, 1870-1910 -- 1. When Unit-Based Measurement Ruled the World : An Interdisciplinary Overview, 1870-1910 -- 2. Is There a Unit of Utility? Jevons, Menger, and Walras on the Measurability of Utility, 1870-1910 -- 3. Still on the Quest for a Unit: Utility Measurement in Wieser, Bohm-Bawerk, Edgeworth, Fisher, and Marshall, 1880-1910 -- PART TWO: Ordinal and Cardinal Utility and Early Empirical Measurements of Utility, 1900-1945 -- 4. Fundamental Measurement, Sensation Differences, and the British Controversy on Psychological Measurement, 1910-1940 -- 5. Ordinal Utility : Pareto and the Austrians, 1900-1915 -- 6. Cardinal Utility : How It Entered Economic Analysis from Pareto to Samuelson, 1915-1945 -- 7. Going Empirical : The Econometric and Experimental Approaches to Utility Measurement of Frisch and Thurstone, 1925-1945..
PART THREE: From Debating Expected Utility Theory to Redefining Utility Measurement, 1945-1955 -- 8. Stevens and the Operational Definition of Measurement in Psychology, 1935-1950 -- 9. Expected Utility Theory and Measurement Theory of von Neumann and Morgenstern, 1944-1947 -- 10. What Is That Function? Friedman, Savage, Marschak, Samuelson, and Baumol on EUT, 1947-1950 -- 11. From Chicago to Paris: The Debate Continues, 1950-1952 -- 12. Conventions, Operations, Predictions: Redefining Utility Measurement, 1952 -- 1955 -- PART FOUR: Expected Utility Theory and Experimental Utility Measurement, 1950-1985 -- 13. Experimental Utility Measurement : The Age of Confidence I, 1950 -- 1960 -- 14. Marschak and Utility Measurement at Yale: The Age of Confidence II, 1960-1965 -- 15. From Utility Measurement to the Representational Theory of Measurement: The Case of Suppes, 1950 -- 1970 -- 16. Measuring Utility, Destabilizing EUT : Behavioral Economics Begins, 1965-1985.
This item is about
- Oxford studies in the history of economics
- New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-312) and indexes.
- viii, 326 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
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- LCCN: 2018010521