On economists’ incapacity to grasp human irrationality


“ Economists are so steeped in the assumption that human beings are “rational” – meaning they make choices only by pleasure-pain calculus – that when confronted by evidence that that is not so, they commonly speak of “deviations from rationality”. They have ignored that our behaviour is governed by primal instincts as well as reason, and that denial of instincts has blinkered their understanding of incentives to work and other aspects of economic behaviour ”

Robert Neild, ‘How do we fix our 21st century economy? Look at Darwin’, The Guardian


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