Stigler's Revival of Mandeville: A "Mistake" Free Theory of Society

Journal des Economistes Et des Etudes Humaines 6 (4) (1995)
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Abstract

George Stigler défendit deux revendications importantes. 1) Ce que disent les gens à propos des choix n’a pas d’importance. 2) Toutes les institutions sociales sont efficientes à long terme. Je démontre que la seconde proposition découle d’une considération pour la rationalité économique à laquelle s’ajoute une préférence nulle pour le temps.Il est important de constater que la désapprobation d’une préférence positive pour le temps est un aspect de la moralité traditionnelle. Cela suggère que la seconde revendication de Stigler est tributaire de la proposition selon laquelle ce que disent le gens à propos des choix est extrèmement important.George Stigler defended two important claims. 1) What people say about choice does not matter. 2) All social institutions are in the long run efficient. I demonstrate that the second proposition follows from considerations of economic rationality plus zero time discounting. It is important to note that disapproval of positive time preference is an aspect of traditional morality. Thus suggests that Stigler’s second claim depends upon the proposition that what people say about choice does matter very much.

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