Moscati, I. (2018-12-27). Measuring Utility: From the Marginal Revolution to Behavioural Economics: Oxford University Press
Why should economists care about the measurement of utility? The answer to this question is far from obvious. In fact, while the idea of utility (or use value) is as old as economics itself, the efforts to measure it only appeared at a later stage of the discipline. Moscati’s book tries to answer this question by exploring how economists came to attach operational meaning to the concept of utility. He highlights that this path was by no means straightforward: only some of the forefathers of the marginal revolution tried to measure utility and, even the ones who did, argued that the validity of their theories did not depend on it.
Ivan Moscati’s “Measuring utility” is divided in four parts. Part I presents the measurement of utility in early marginalists. Part II covers ordinal and cardinal utility. Part III is dedicated to the axiomatization of expected utility theory. Part IV corresponds to experimental utility measurement and expected utility theory. While the present book is a development of Moscati’s research on the early marginalists, the ordinal revolution and the experimental studies related to Expected Utility Theory, by providing a comprehensive account of the efforts to measure utility, it goes beyond his previous articles on the matter. In order to separate the bones from the flesh of the story, I will briefly expose what I consider to be Moscati’s main argument…
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