Tuesday, October 19, 2004

New and Exciting

In a recent post, I mentioned authors who developed book-length explanations of nearly everything, making use of the interactions of geography and selection -- and time. Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel is an example, as is Paul H. Rubin's Darwininian Politics.

In "Learning, Institutions and Economic Performance", C. Mantzavinos, Douglass C. North and Syed Shariq go considerably further.

Evolution gave us beings with brains and beings with large brains make choices, some good and some bad. The authors make use of the latest insights from cognitive science and conclude: "The analytical framework presented here provides a first approximation of the role that learning plays in the formation of institutions and in the economic games unfolded within them."

Why didn't anyone teach this stuff when I was learning economics?