Aspiration traps

Aviad Heifetz, Enrico Minelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fundamental non-recurrent choices, like location or education, affect the attitudes and beliefs with which the individual consequently analyzes day-to-day decision problems. These effects cannot be assumed to be transparent to the individual. To restore methodological discipline in the analysis of such choices, we propose a solution concept based on an idea of self-justification and consistency: the individual should not regret her fundamental choice after her preferences and beliefs regarding day-to-day decisions have adjusted thereof. We show that even single-person fundamental choice problems admit multiple, Pareto-ranked solutions: the individual might be stuck in an aspiration trap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
JournalB.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by De Gruyter 2015.


  • aspiration
  • fundamental choice


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