An Economic Theory of Greed, Love, Groups, and Networks by Paul Frijters

By Paul Frijters

Why are humans dependable? How do teams shape and the way do they bring incentives for his or her individuals to abide by way of staff norms? before, economics has purely been in a position to in part resolution those questions. during this groundbreaking paintings, Paul Frijters provides a brand new unified idea of human behaviour. to take action, he contains complete but tractable definitions of affection and tool, and the dynamics of teams and networks, into the conventional mainstream fiscal view. the result's an more suitable view of human societies that however keeps the pursuit of self-interest at its middle. This publication offers a digestible yet entire conception of our socioeconomic approach, which condenses its giant complexity into simplified representations. the end result either illuminates humanity's heritage and indicates methods ahead for rules this present day, in components as diversified as poverty relief and tax compliance.

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Extra info for An Economic Theory of Greed, Love, Groups, and Networks

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It gets worse. The type of economist who depicts the rest of the world as being inhabited by agents who are rational and have complete information is, by implication, redundant. Instead of working out how the economic system works, such an economist could simply walk up to the first person on the street and ask him how the economy works, the probability distribution of interest rates next year, and so on. This may seem an exaggerated example, since many such economists claim to assume only that agents behave “as if” they are rational, but this claim implies an appeal to some unknown and un-modeled process via which individuals’ actual behavior happens to coincide with what they would do if they truly were rational, without exploring whether irrationality in the absence of this unknown process would lead to different results.

This results in a tragedy-of-the-commons problem whereby no individual country has an incentive to leave any fish for any other country even if, when this approach is taken by all countries, stocks become so low that future fishing is endangered. Individual countries will argue, rationally, that if they do not fish the last fish then someone else will. The first-best economic solution to this market imperfection is to create 16 Introduction and preview ownership over the fish in the oceans. Failing that, the second-best solution is to come to an international agreement about who is allowed to fish where and for how large an amount.

However, the monitoring costs of enforcing such agreements are high (as with personal garbage) because there is no international police force capable of following and protecting fish anywhere they go. As a result, third-best solutions have also come into play, such as agreements between countries about special zones where no one is allowed to fish, and which they can agree will be under the protection of a particular country or authority. In regard to these types of problems, this book will again agree in the main with the position of mainstream economics and therefore with mainstream economic advice.

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