Apr 20, 2009

Fighting pirates

Freakonomics has a Q&A with "Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates" author Peter T. Leeson, professor of economics at George Mason University. The book looks fascinating...well especially if you are a fan of pirates stories.. But I find his answer to the last question rather disappointing. It reflects what is wrong with economists in general. When asked what kinds of lessons can we draw from The Invisible Hook in dealing with modern pirates, he answers:
"We have to recognize that pirates are rational economic actors and that piracy is an occupational choice [...] Since we know that pirates respond to costs and benefits, we should think of solutions that alter those costs and benefits to shape the incentives for pirates and to deter them from going into a life of piracy".
No shit. Economists are good at saying that solutions need to take into account incentives but they rarely go further than that...this is not a policy recommendation...no way.

1 comment:

Dany said...

At least he gives good policy recommendations for the the :
New Austrian School of Economics