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What Is Addiction?$
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Don Ross, Harold Kincaid, David Spurrett, and Peter Collins

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262513111

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262513111.001.0001

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Economic Models of Pathological Gambling

Economic Models of Pathological Gambling

Chapter:
(p.130) (p.131) 5 Economic Models of Pathological Gambling
Source:
What Is Addiction?
Author(s):

Don Ross

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262513111.003.0006

This chapter, which describes why pathological gambling (PG) raises a puzzle for the standard microeconomic modeling framework, and why this puzzle potentially sheds light on deep issues at the intersection of economics and neuroscience, reviews the prevailing neuroeconomic model of reward learning in the brain’s dopaminergic system. It examines the currently popular economic models of addiction, and discusses an account of PG as a hysteresis response of the reward system. The chapter shows that neuroeconomics offers useful input to selection among molar-scale models. It also suggests that a model of PG as basic addiction can only become a properly economic theory if it is rendered in terms of choices between alternatives rather than conditioning.

Keywords:   pathological gambling, microeconomic modeling, economics, neuroscience, neuroeconomic model, reward learning, dopaminergic system, addiction

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