As you may have noticed, the title of this website is “The Economic Man”, and its purpose is to help everyone become the best version of themselves through life advice and economic knowledge. That way, we all can become Economic Men and Women. But, what should you expect? What does it mean to be an Economic Man?
First off, let me tell you that this term has its roots in what we call neoclassical economics or neoclassical school. Neoclassical economists used a more rational and scientific approach to economics, with the help of formulas, graphs and charts, in order to create new laws and rules that focused on the individual decisions rather than considering the aggregate supply to be the “governor” of the markets. One of the results, as you may expect, is the birth of what we call “Economic Man”, but some of its traits and characteristics were already present in the works of former thinkers like Adam Smith or John Stuart Mill.
Technically speaking, the Economic Man is an individual who pursues their goals, which are subjective (thus varying from person to person), using rational decision-making processes and making those decisions that maximize their utility (if they are the consumer) or their profit (if they are the producer). The Economic Man leaves no room for irrational thoughts, impulse decisions or feelings. They are always rational and will always act according to their preferences and restrictions, finding the best possible outcome in every scenario.
Now, before you look at me and say, “you’re crazy”, I know this portrait of a perfectly rational individual may not seem very appealing, and that’s why we’re here. The Economic Man has some personality traits and ways of making decisions that we could definitely use in our daily lives. There is a branch of economics (a very important one) called behavioural economics that tried to fix this issue and model a more “human” individual who had limited rationality instead of perfect rationality. As we all know, we are biased in our decisions and the information we receive isn’t perfect, which leads to imperfect or sub-optimal decision making.
The challenge I’ve set for myself (and for all of you here!) is to reach a rationality as perfect as possible while keeping our most “human” feelings and instincts intact. We will be taking a step aside behavioural economics, or rather, a step beyond it, and look at life the Economic Way to make better decisions in our daily life, which I’m sure will lead us to a brighter future. I am willing to redefine the concept of “Economic Man” and make it useful and, what’s most important, real. Will you come with me?