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Rational Choice or Capricious Whim? Analyzing the Decision-Making behind Cuban Economic Reform

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Renee Scherlen Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/

Abstract: Rational choice theory offers an alternative perspective. This method argues that decision makers make choices that reflect a preference between outcomes. Such utility maximization offers a degree of flexibility. As Geddes notes (2000), analysts do not need to assume that personal gain (material gain) is the sole objective of decision-makers. A careful study of goals, context, and information can provide a framework for assessing decision-making under the rational actor model. How capricious is economic decision-making in Cuba? Is Fidel Castro a rational actor or an erratic tyrant? In an effort to answer these questions, I apply the rational actor model to four economic decisions undertaken by Cuba in the past decade and a half. These policies fall into two critical areas: currency and foreign investment. Were the decisions announced by Fidel Castro rational?

Additional Information

Publication
Scherlen, Renee G. (2007) “Rational Choice or Capricious Whim? Decision-making in Cuba” Presented at the Southern Political Science Association Conference, New Orleans, LA, Jan 4-6, 2007.
Language: English
Date: 2007