ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.

The Voluntariness Mantra Refuted

Recently, I was made aware of an article by the famous Harvard economist Gregory N. Mankiw ("Defending the One Percent’’, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2013). In that article, he puts forward an interesting thought experiment. Assume we were in a state in which the market outcome would lead to absolute equality among economic agents. There was no need for redistribution, as anybody would get the same share of the pie anyway, and a lump-sum tax would finance government expenditures (which were still needed, as there is a demand for public goods). ...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent comment in this post
Guest — NP
Extremely interesting. If you add to this the results from a very interesting literature about poverty emphasizing how, exactly be... Read More
Monday, 16 September 2013 2:02 PM
Continue reading
1 Comment
Write a Comment

On “Humans” vs. “Econs”, the mystery of human psyche, and the domain of economic inquiry

You may think that the subject matter of economics is human behavior. Well, not so fast. There is a growing body of behavioral economics literature suggesting that the subject matter of mainstream economics has been behavior by “Econs”, not “Humans”. Consider this journalistic account of “Nudge”, an influential book by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein:  Economics has traditionally ignored psychology. In NUDGE, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein take a step toward greater realism about it. […] The authors start off by differentiating "Econs" from "Huma...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent Comments
Guest — Admin
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 10:10 PM
Guest — Yasya
Great post. These are the points, I believe every true scholar, every intellectual (or simply an intelligent human being) understa... Read More
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 11:11 PM
Guest — Sanjit Dhami
I will restrict myself to very brief comments. The details can be found in a valuable debate I had with Eric a few days ago; here ... Read More
Thursday, 10 May 2012 1:01 PM
Continue reading

Our Partners