Language: 日本語 English

Economics, Game Theory and Disability Studies: Toward a Fertile Dialogue

Author(s): 
Toshiji Kawagoe and Akihiko Matsui
Date: 
Wed, 2009-05-27
Abstract: 
This paper studies the notion of inclusive communities by applying economics and game theory, which quickly became the standard analytical tool in economics over the last decades, to disability studies. First, we give a brief overview of basics of economics and game theory. In this step, we explain some key related concepts in game theory, strategic complementarity and network externality, that make a departure from the standard price theory, which by itself responds to some of the misguided criticisms against economics such as the market fundamentalism and the supremacy of rational agent in economic analysis. Economics affirms a modern view of human, such as an autonomous, rational decision-maker. So we would like to ask whether or not economics can have a fertile dialogue with disability studies that seems to deny this view, and if the answer is in the affirmative, then how. Although the importance of the right of self-determination is followed naturally by this view, we have to admit that any human in reality has no such cognitive/computational capacity to do so. Rather, humans in reality are influenced from surrounding socio-cultural environments and develop some boundedly rational behavior or blindly follow established conventions to resolve many problems they face. We explain a recent game theoretic attempt in which, in the first place, discrimination emerges as an equilibrium even if there is no inherent factor for that, and next, if one tries to understand such an equilibrium based on one’s limited experiences, then prejudices may emerge. The endogenous emergence of stigma is explained. Finally, as we point out that the advocacy of self-determination in disability movement leads to liberalism and it can be oppressive for people with mental and intellectual disabilities, we state that overcoming modern view of human rights in disability studies is necessary for establishing inclusive communities.
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