Bounded Rationality (Public Administration)

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  • The classical thinkers, such as Bentham and Beccaria, assumed that human beings were each “perfectly rational” entities. This presumed that each individual had all the information necessary to make perfectly rational decisions, based on perceived costs and benefits. This state of “hyperrationality” is subsumed into most economic models, along with the assumption that people would not behave in a way that violated their preferences.

    Ostensibly, the process of rational choices and decisions involves selecting the best alternative among two or more options, given the preferences for the choices and the assumed benefits resulting from the consequences of those choices. The process can be simplified into three steps: (1) identification of the alternative choices, (2) assessing the likely outcomes resulting from each alternative, and (3) determining which ...

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