ISSN: 1648 - 4460

International Journal of Scholarly Papers


Transformations  in
Business & Economics

Transformations in
Business & Economics

  • © Vilnius University, 2002-2007
  • © Brno University of Technology, 2002-2007
  • © University of Latvia, 2002-2007
The Full Rationality Assumption in Post-Socialist Reality – An Examination of EU Attitudes in Estonia
Robert Mikecz

ABSTRACT. The idea of optimizing decisions is a cornerstone in various social sciences, as diverse as economics or strategic management. Full rationality is a presumption in neoclassical economics, which provides the basis for neoliberal macroeconomic policies. However, reality does not support the theory of optimization; instead it points to suboptimal decisions and the existence of bounded rationality. People are not computers. Their decisions are influenced by internal (culture, the social setting) and external influences (personal beliefs and values). Accession to the European Union (EU) has clear benefits to the population of Estonia in the forms of economic development and improvements in standards of living. Yet despite the advantages of EU membership, anti-EU sentiments are high. The objective of this paper is to put the full rationality assumption to the test in a post-socialist country. The author examines four segments of Estonian society – the business elite, population of rural areas, the Russian minority, and students – and contrasts their objective interests with their attitudes toward the European Union.

KEYWORDS: bounded rationality, regional inequalities, EU attitudes, European Union, Estonia.

JEL classification: I31, P16.

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