Saturday, November 24, 2012

Anti-economics (If Michael Sandel Ruled the World)

The first sentence of the first paragraph: "If I ruled the world, I would rewrite the economics textbooks."

The first sentence of the second paragraph: "Consider the case for a free market in human organs—kidneys, for example."

Economics is important...sounds like someone should study it...


Joshua Gans said...

He isn't anti-economics. He wants to merge the Harvard economics and philosophy departments to create a more harmonious world.

michael webster said...

Al's book on Axiomatic Bargaining could have been helpful to the philosophy department if Rawls had not been there. He characterizes various formal fairness solutions in terms of what information the choice function deems irrelevant.

But, there is no serious interest in the formal contours of a social contract theory, even Rawls backed away from defending his difference principle, as I recall.

Highgamma said...

Nearly every bad policy discussion starts off with, "If I were the king of the world." In one phrase, the principal-agent problem is assumed away and we can prattle on about first best solutions that we can never achieve. I prefer the real world.

László Sándor said...

I just note that Sandel is not even in the philosophy department.

Btw, I don't remember talking much recently about the drug trade in the repugnance framework vs a (misperceived?) public health issue. This ground is shifting lightning fast, much faster the LGBT rights or animal welfare. See

But while I'm talking repugnance, you might like this little Summers video: