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Heike Hennig-Schmidt participated in the Workshop "The Neoclassical Repair Shop and its Alternatives“ in honour of Werner Güth's 75th birthday at Berlin Social Science Center, February 2-3, 2019

The publication of the original ultimatum game paper in 1982 by Werner Güth and coauthors challenged orthodox neoclassical economics, based on the twin assumptions of perfect rationality and selfishness, in an unprecedented way.

After attempts by the mainstream to categorize the observed behaviour as an irrelevant anomaly failed, its response was to adjust the neoclassical approach by allowing for different kinds of preferences, maintaining the fundamental tenant of rational maximization. The publication of the original ultimatum game paper in 1982 challenged orthodox neoclassical economics, based on the twin assumptions of perfect rationality and selfishness, in an unprecedented way.  Long before this approach become a mainstay of the contemporary economics literature, Werner Güth coined it "The neoclassical repair shop“ – a term that incorporates substantial ambiguity about its promise for the social sciences. Yes, a repaired car is better than a damaged car, but at the same time, maybe what is actually needed is a radically redesigned mode of transport.


Picture source: WZB Berlin Social Science Center