Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'homo economicus'

The Myth of Homo Economicus

“As a social psychologist, I have long been amused by economists and their curiously delusional notion of the ‘rational man.’” writes Carol Tavris. “Rational? Where do these folks live?” In a review of behavioral economist Richard Thaler’s new book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, Tavris notes how economists are slowly beginning to see — or, one could argue, finally returning to the notion — that the discipline ought treat man as more than a mere robot or calculator. Continue Reading...

Humans are not Economic Automata

Courtesy Evangelical Outpost and the always-interesting 33 Things, here’s a video on the strangeness of the economics of incentives and punishments: The lesson here is that people in real life, body and soul, are not simple rational economic actors who respond only to material realities. Continue Reading...

Interventions Target People, Not Robots

Shankar Vedantam on the problems of “social” governmental intervention, including increased moral hazard (HT: Arts and Letters Daily): While it seems like common sense to pump money into an economy that is pulling the bedcovers over its head, the problem with most social interventions is that they target not robots and machines but human beings — who regularly respond to interventions in contrarian, paradoxical and unpredictable ways. Continue Reading...