• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

Кто такой Homo oeconomicus?

Экономическая политика. 2020. Т. 15. № 1. С. 8-39.

The paper traces the historical roots of the concept “economic man”, and reveals the main methodological characteristics of the rational choice model, which traditionally constituted the “hard core” of the economic approach to human behavior. The phrase Homo oeconomicus was coined in Great Britain at the end of the 19th century by critics of political economy in order to fix at the terminological level the apparent unrealisticness of the ideas the latter had developed about human being and human behavior. However, economists quickly appropriated this concept, making it neutral and starting to use it for their own analytical purposes. At the same time, they understood from the very beginning that it was nothing more than an abstract conceptual scheme, incapable of claiming descriptive realism. Accordingly, its criticism by sociologists, anthropologists and psychologists most often turned out to be untenable due to their erroneous confusion of the concepts of “analytical construct” and “anthropological type”. Next, the paper highlights the transformation of modern economics from a mono-paradigmatic into a multi-paradigmatic discipline, and the emergence within it of numerous competing models of man. In this context, several incarnations of Homo oeconomicus are discussed: the traditional (“narrow”) version; the extended (Beckerian) version; behavioral economics; neuroeconomics; and genoeconomics. The paper also provides a comparative analysis of different perceptions of man intrinsic to economics and sister social sciences. The author concludes that, in its modified and truncated form, the conventional Homo oeconomicus remains a reference point even for the latest studies in economics and psychology, where it is subject to various deconstructions