Browsing Catharsis – 02.15.12
February 15, 2012
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Pennington on Robust Political Economy. I have a more general definition of robust than Pennington does, and it’s one of the reasons why I often have some frustration regarding the robust political economy research program (although I am gradually moving into it). I get my definition from Taleb. Robust means that your result still holds when something outside your model hits it. Evolved institutions are very robust. Status quo institutions are fairly robust, at least in the sense of not-ending-civilization. Even though it makes what Pennington would call robust assumptions about human nature, I do not consider free banking to be robust because we have very, very little evidence about how it would behave in a complex financial system. I consider anarcho-capitalism to be the opposite of robust because there are a million things that can go wrong with it once you leave the rational choice model, and the only “evidence” contrary to these things going wrong is “no u, rational choice theory is correct” and a smattering of empirical examples.
The Stand-Up Economist has new material.
Epic Meal Time + Lady Gaga + Valentines Day.
Valentines cards from totalitarians.
Robin Hanson on the types of gray swans we should care about.
What happens when I order wine.