Cognitive Microfoundations for the Economics of Nonrival Goods
This paper shows that the economics of nonrival goods cannot be fully comprehended without taking into account the role of intelligence differences among economic agents. The analysis focuses on Paul Romer’s contributions and explains that the study of the economics of ideas (memes) through an institutional lens alone misses the crucial economic implications of the interplay between genes and memes. Ideas appear to be nonrival if and only to the extent that we neglect wide individual differences in the capacity to appropriate ideas. Differences in intelligence among humans make the theoretically and politically appealing non-rivalry of ideas a practical falsehood.
Volume (Year): 43 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3-4 ()
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