Paradigms and Conventions

Uncertainty, Decision Making, and Entrepreneurship
Young Back Choi
An innovative approach to the analysis of decision making under uncertainty


Paradigms and Conventions presents a viable alternative to the standard neoclassical economic approach of a rational maximizing model. Young Back Choi develops the concept of convention and uses it to build our understanding of the working of the market as a social learning process. This approach offers a unique perspective on entrepreneurs and innovators by carefully analyzing the nature of decision making under uncertainty and the problem of modeling it, and then systematically exploring its behavioral implications.

Paradigms and Conventions presents propositions and their corollaries logically derived from the principles that human beings must judge situations before they can act; and that why faced with an unfamiliar situation, human beings will endeavor to form a judgment of it. By putting the human mind at the center of the analysis, Professor Choi creates a surprisingly fruitful way of thinking about these issues that promises a new view of decision making.

This book offers the stimulus of new ideas and the insights of a new approach that will be attractive to students and faculty in psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, and philosophy, as well as economics.

Praise / Awards

  • "There are many reasons why this book deserves to be read widely. I'll give just two. In our age of specialization, works that synthesize broad domains of knowledge are rare; this book does so with charm and originality. And the book is laced with fascinating new insights into individual behavior and social processes."
    —Timur Kuran, University of Southern California
  • ". . . an extremely ambitious book. . . . [Choi] develops his argument almost from scratch, and is quite unabashed about treating his own theory as a rival to neoclassical economics."
    Constitutional Political Economy
  • ". . . a fresh, and stimulating, performance."
    Journal of Economic Literature
  • ". . . the book promises to provide new ideas into the psychology behind paradigm/convention adoption, status-seeking, and envy. Choi has managed to present these insights in the most engaging manner. . . . Choi is certainly at the edge of institionalist [sic] economics, the most exciting front in economics research today."
    Journal of Evolutionary Economics
  • ". . . this is an interesting if very ambitious book. The author deals with many interesting issues which arise from a broad range of philosophical and theoretical problems and advances a framework for dealing with uncertainty in decision making which will no doubt attract further attention in future work in this area."
    —David Young, Review of Political Economy

Look Inside


Introduction     1

1. Decision Making under Uncertainty and the Concept of Rationality     11

2. A Theory of Decision Making under Uncertainty: The Paradigmatic Approach     27

3. The Decision-Making Process and Its Implications for Individual Behavior     45

4. Individuals in Society     63

5. Conventions and Social Institutions     87

6. Status     113

7. Envy     125

Conclusion     149

Appendix: Table of Propositions and Corollaries     155

Bibliography     157

Name Index     177

Subject Index     181

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 200pp.
  • figures.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1993
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10422-2

Add to Cart
  • $84.95 U.S.