Markets vs. Government when Rationality is Unequally Bounded: Some Consequences of Cognitive Inequalities for Theory and Policy
Recognizing that human rationality has bounds that are unequal across individuals entails treating it as a special scarce resource, tied to individuals and used for deciding on its own uses. This causes a meta-mathematical difficulty to the axiomatic theories of human capital and resource allocation, and raises a new problem for comparative institutional analysis, allowing it to explain some so far little understood differences between markets and government. The policy implications strengthen the case against national planning, selective industrial policies, and government ownership of enterprises, but weaken the case against paternalism.
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- Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
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