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Folk Economics

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Author Info

  • Paul H. Rubin

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Emory University)

Abstract

Folk economics is the intuitive economics of untrained people. It is concerned with distribution, and does not allow for or understand incentives. Folk economic notions evolved in our ancestors in circumstances where there was little in the way of specialization, division of labor, capital investment, or economic growth. It can explain the beliefs of naïve individuals regarding matters such as international trade, labor economics, law and economics, and industrial organization. It is important that voters understand economic principles. Economists would do a better job of persuading others and of teaching if we paid explicit attention to folk economics. Because untrained individuals do not fully understand gains from trade, training in economics is likely to improve welfare by increasing the number of trading opportunities. There is evidence that this is in fact true.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 70 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 157-171

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:70:1:y:2003:p:157-171

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Web page: http://www.southerneconomic.org/
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Economics sucks, it is just the study of 'common sense'
    by Matt Nolan in The Invisible Hand in Economics on 2013-11-04 22:07:15
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Cited by:
  1. Gehring, Kai, 2013. "Who Benefits from Economic Freedom? Unraveling the Effect of Economic Freedom on Subjective Well-Being," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 74-90.
  2. Jacob, Robert & Christandl, Fabian & Fetchenhauer, Detlef, 2011. "Economic experts or laypeople? How teachers and journalists judge trade and immigration policies," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 662-671.
  3. Bryan Caplan & Edward Stringham, 2005. "Mises, bastiat, public opinion, and public choice," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 79-105.
  4. Haferkamp, Alexandra & Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Belschak, Frank & Enste, Dominik, 2009. "Efficiency versus fairness: The evaluation of labor market policies by economists and laypeople," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 527-539, August.
  5. Daniel Klein, 2010. "From weight watchers to state watchers: Towards a narrative of liberalism," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 403-410, December.
  6. Daniel Klein & Xiaofei (Sophia) Pan & Daniel Houser & Gonzalo Schwartz, 2011. "Experiment on the Demand for Encompassment," Working Papers 1020, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Mar 2011.
  7. Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde & David Leiser & Rinat Benita, 2010. "Human Foibles or Systemic Failure -- Lay Perceptions of the 2008-09 Financial Crisis," Post-Print ijn_00445611, HAL.
  8. Klein, Daniel, 2004. "The People’s Romance: Why People Love Government (as much as they do)," Ratio Working Papers 31, The Ratio Institute, revised 11 May 2005.

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