Economics Seminar Series: Arpita Bhattacharjee - A model of adaptive preferences

You are invited to a Zoom Seminar by Arpita Bhattacharjee from the University of Leeds on “A model of adaptive preferences”.

Register here to attend.


The paper presents an analytical framework to evaluate a change in preferences, specifically how individuals come to acquire adaptive preferences. Adaptive Preferences are a class of Endogenous Preferences that are dependent on the perceived feasibility or opportunity set. The idea of meta-preferences or second-order preferences is utilized in order to assess how and when individuals choose between different preference orderings. I maintain the paradigm of a maximizing rational agent albeit with a richer conception of the rational agent, one who can have a preference for a particular preference. The model is developed using a VNM expected utility approach that assigns indirect utility to pairs of opportunity sets and preference orderings. The model presented in this paper is autonomy-preserving - it gives individuals the liberty to deliberate over pairs of opportunity sets and preference orderings, and choose the pair that maximizes their `utility'. In that sense it retains the framework of preference and choice in economics while allowing for institutions, history, and culture to influence individual beliefs, expectation, and therefore preferences. Parallel to the model I present case studies on Domestic Violence, and Female Genital Mutilation as likely instances of Adaptive Preferences.

All are welcome to attend!