Paradoxical Effects of Social Behavior

Paradoxical Effects of Social Behavior

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In the history of science qparadoxesq are not only amusing puzzles and chal lenges to the human mind but also driving forces of scientific development. The notion of qparadoxq is intimately related to the notion of qcontradictionq. Logi cal paradoxes allow for the derivation of contradictory propositions (e.g. qRus sell's set of all sets not being members of themselvesq or the ancient problem with propositions like qI am lyingq 1), normative paradoxes deal with contradic tions among equally well accepted normative postulates (Arrow's qimpossibility theoremq, Sen's qImpossibility of a Paretian Liberalq) and qfactualq paradoxes refer to conflicts between conventional opinion based on an accepted empirical theory and contradictory empirical evidence (e.g. the qSt. Petersburg paradoxq or the qAllais paradoxq in decision theory2). Paradoxes, either logical, normative or factual, also contradict our intui tions. The counter-intuitive property which seems to be a common feature of all paradoxes plays an important part in the empirical social sciences, particularly in the old research tradition of scrutinizing the unintended consequences of pur posive actions. Expectations based on naive theories ignoring interdependencies between individual actions are very often in conflict with qsurprisingq empirical evidence on collective results of social behavior. Examples are numerous reach ing from panic situations, the individual struggle for status gains resulting in collective deprivation, the less than optimal supply of collective goods etc. to global problems of the armament race and mismanagement of common resources.Since u = .50 the best (loss minimizing) decision for incompetents is to fix all problems with major repairs. ... costly (remember competent firms never commit repair mistakes). This resolves our paradox. WII. CONCLUSION This example pointsanbsp;...

Title:Paradoxical Effects of Social Behavior
Author:Andreas Diekmann, P. Mitter
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2012-12-06


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