Brad DeLong Makes a Wishful Mistake

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"The fact is that the foundations of standard microeconomic models envisage people as hedonistic sociopaths, and theorists prevent mayhem from breaking out in their models by the simple expedient of ignoring the possibility."

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The fact is that the foundations of standard microeconomic models envisage people as hedonistic sociopaths, and theorists prevent mayhem from breaking out in their models by the simple expedient of ignoring the possibility[...] Arrow, Debreu and co. rule out by hypothesis any interaction between agents other than impersonal market exchange, but the specification of the agents shows that they'd have no objection to pillage, or any preference for obtaining their consumption basket by peaceful truck, barter and commerce rather than fire, sword and fear.
Cosma Shalizi, "Brad DeLong Makes a Wishful MistakeBrad DeLong Makes a Wishful Mistake"