Economics famously treats market actors as homogeneous. People are homo economicus, rational self-interested maximizers of their own utility. So far, so good, notwithstanding supposed behavioral “deviations” from rationality (more on those later). That people can view their own utility very differently from one another is recognized in theory, but not so much in practice. Also not sufficiently recognized is the extent to which people’s views of their own utility reflect their theories of who they are and how the world works, and that they hold such views and theories not just atomistically, but also collectively—that is, socially.
Claire A. Hill, An Identity Theory of the Short- and Long-Term Investor Debate, 41 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 475 (2018).