Grabbing the Forbidden Fruit: Restriction-Sensitive Choice (with Niels Boissonnet) 8 February 2023, 14:00 - 15:00
To sign up for meetings with the speaker, please use this link:
Restricting individuals’ access to some goods may steer their desire toward their substitutes, a phenomenon known as the forbidden fruit effect. We propose and study a model of restriction-sensitive choice (RSC) that rationalizes such behaviours and that is compatible with the prominent psychological explanations: reactance theory and commodity theory. We show how the ingredients of our model can be identified from choice data, namely, from choice reversals caused by the removal of options. We give an axiomatic characterization of RSC. We also derive a measure of the freedom offered by opportunity sets for an agent whose final choices follow our procedure. Three applications are then analysed. We show that our model can accommodate the emergence of conspiracy theories and the backlash of integration policy targeted toward minorities. We finally study a principal’s delegation problem to an agent whose choice is an RSC. We find that the effect on the agent’s welfare is ambiguous.

Microsoft Teams link:
Date: 8 February 2023, 14:00 (Wednesday, 4th week, Hilary 2023)
Venue: Online
Speaker: Mr Alexis Ghersengorin (Paris School of Economics)
Organising department: Department of Economics
Organiser: Bethany McWhinnie (Global Priorities Institute (GPI))
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Rossa O'Keeffe-O'Donovan (University of Oxford)
Part of: Global Priorities Institute (GPI) - Seminar Series
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Public
Editors: Rossa O'Keeffe-O'Donovan, Sven Herrmann, Christian Panzer, Bethany McWhinnie