‘De gustibus non est disputandum … exceptum if non-selfishum’

17 March, 2018 at 11:32 | Posted in Economics | Comments Off on ‘De gustibus non est disputandum … exceptum if non-selfishum’

degustThe status quo of Economics ten or fifteen years ago was that paying $8 to see a revenge fantasy of a fictitious protagonist taking fictitious revenge on a fictitious bad guy who has fictitiously wronged him falls tightly under economists de-gustibus-non-est-disputandum sensibility, whereas a subject spending $8 to take real revenge on a real-life bad guy who has wronged the subject himself needed explaining. Looked at by an outsider not wedded to the assumption of 100% self-interest (or not a fan of popular action movies), the different reaction to retaliatory behavior versus cinematic behavior would be entirely perplexing. To me it is not so much perplexing as it is indicative of the power of habitual thinking by participants in an academic discipline.

Matthew Rabin

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