Another Look at Becker’s Irrational Consumer


Becker’s paper "Irrational Consumers and Economic Theory" ([1]) is a classic. This paper shows how to parameterize the process of selecting points randomly on a budget set. This parameterization also simplifies the proof that average demand curves are downward sloping and satisfy the weak axiom of revealed preference. In addition, we show that the probability distribution of random choices does not need to be restricted to a uniform distribution which Becker assumes. In fact, the distribution can be arbitrary.

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R. Peck, "Another Look at Becker’s Irrational Consumer," Theoretical Economics Letters, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 262-263. doi: 10.4236/tel.2012.23047.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] G. S. Becker, “Irrational Behavior and Economic Theory,” Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 70, No. 1, 1962, pp. 1-13. doi:10.1086/258584
[2] W. Hildenbrand, “On the Law of Demand,” Econometrica, Vol. 51, No. 4, 1983, pp. 997-1020 doi:10.2307/1912048

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