The economic agent and robustness in Political Economy (Boettke)


A modo de recomendación: Fallible But Capable Human Beings

Man is a rational actor, but a fallible one.  But a fallible one that is capable of learning and discovering.  And we find men throughout history and throughout location, interacting with one another through a diverse set of institutions.  Yet some societies are capable of realizing the gains from social cooperation under the division of labor, while others fail to realize those gains.  It is about dynamic adjustment, about robustness to deviations from the ideal, or robustness to changes in the underlying structure, and not exclusively about the equilibrium of the game we find ourselves playing.

On the meaning of robustness -related to Boettke’s (and others) work on Robust Political Economy:

In the context of political economic systems, “robustness” refers to a political economic arrangement’s ability to produce social welfare-enhancing outcomes in the face of deviations from ideal assumptions about individuals’ motivations and information. Since standard assumptions about complete and perfect information, instantaneous market adjustment, perfect agent rationality, political actor benevolence, etc., rarely, if ever actually hold, a realistic picture and accurate assessment of the desirability of alternative political economic systems requires an analysis of alternative systems’ robustness. The Mises-Hayek critique of socialism forms the foundation for investigations of robustness that relax ideal informational assumptions. The Buchanan-Tullock public choice approach complements this foundation in forming the basis for investigations of robustness that relax ideal motivational assumptions.