Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Wisdom of Tullock

While on the History of Economic Thought website, I read about my current professor Gordon Tullock. His page on the site linked to an article he wrote, Smith v. Pareto. The abstract, in its entirety, reads:
This paper argues that we do not and cannot actually use Paretian criteria, therefore, I recommend that we stop pretending we do.

1 comment:

ryan said...

Does the one lead to the other? I have the sense that Tullock will often say things like this: "We cannot actually do X; ergo, we ought to stop pretending to do X." Those two statements have hardly anything to do with one another. In fact, if everyone pretends to do something, we might very well have a very good reason for doing so -- that might be an excellent argument for continuing to pretend.

Unless, of course, you don't think people are rational. I'm unclear on what business an economist has taking that position.